Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh has congratulated the team of DRDO scientists on successful testing of India’s intramural long range ballistic missile Agni-V. This success of DRDO (Defence Research Development Organisation) scientists or the successful firing of 5,000 k.m. range ballistic missile Agni-V listed India in the elite club of nations having ICBM (Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles). With over 5,000 km range, Agni V was test-fired at around 0805 hrs from Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Wheeler Island off Odisha coast.
Test-fire of Agni-V is the first-of-its-kind missile, which was originally scheduled to be held yesterday, had to be postponed at the last moment due to bad weather marked by rains and heavy lightning for safety reasons. Seventeen meters tall and 50 tonnes in weight Agni-V has the capacity to carry a nuclear warhead weighing over one tonne. The three stage, solid propellant missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher from launch complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Wheeler Island off Odisha coast at 8.07 am (IST).
India became the new member of the ICBM nations group with the powerful US, Russia, China, Britain and France.
Facts and Figures related to Agni-V:
Agni-V missile dimension: Length-17.5m X Diameter-2m
Speed of Agni-V missile: 24 Mach (High-hypersonic speed)
This is India’s first launch of a 5,000 kilometer range missile. This ICBM is capable of reaching deep inside China and Europe.
Agni-V will take 20 minutes to reach its target area in southern Indian Ocean.
Once fired, Agni-V cannot be stopped and it travels faster than a bullet and can carry 1,000 kilograms of nuclear weapons. It can be launched using a special canister.
Agni-V can be configured to launch small satellites and can be used later even to shoot down enemy satellites in orbits.
The Agni-V ICBM missile can be launched only after a decision by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).
Briefly Agni missiles:
A series of 5 ballistic missiles made and tested through this system i.e. Agni-I to Agni-V.
Agni-I: Medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) with a range of 700 – 1,200 km. On 25th January, 2002 Agni-I was first tested at the ITR (Integrated Test Range) in Chandipur (Odisha).
Agni-II: Intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) with a range of 2,000 – 2,500 km. It uses solid propellant in both of its two stages.
Agni-III: Intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) with a range of 3,000 – 5,000 km. On 9th July, 2006 first time Agni-III was tested from Wheeler Island off the coast of the eastern state of Odisha.
Agni-IV: On 15th November, 2011 Agni-IV (Agni-II Prime) was tested from Wheeler Island (Odisha). It is an IRBM (Intermediate-range ballistic missile) with a range of 3,200 – 3,700 km.
Agni-V: It is the first ICBM (Intercontinental ballistic missile) with a range of 5,000 – 6,000 km. Agni-V is the most latest Agni missile for now and it successfully test fired on 19th April, 2012 from Wheeler island (Odisha).