Stage set for Agni-5 test launch

New Delhi: India will soon enter the elite club of nations having the Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) capability with the Agni-5 getting ready for its first test launch next month.

"The first test fire of Agni-5 is scheduled to take place in the last week of March or the first week of April from the Wheeler island off the coast of Odisha," DRDO Chief V K Saraswat told PTI. He said that all the development and industry partners participating in the program will be there to witness the test launch.

DRDO plans to conduct more such tests of the missile over the next one year after studying and analysing the parameters achieved in each subsequent trial. Replying to a question on the timeline fixed for fully developing the Agni-5, Saraswat said, "This is a program which is going on for last two years. Another one year of testing will be involved."

In November last year, DRDO had successfully test fired the 3,500 km range Agni-4 missile giving muscle to India`s deterrent capability against the military adversaries.

Meanwhile, preparations are in full swing at the test facility in Wheeler island and other labs which will participate in the launch. The integration of the missile and its components is taking place in a DRDO lab in Hyderabad and the equipment required to study the flight of the missile and its accuracy are being put in place.