India successfully tested Agni-V, its first true intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), this morning.The surface-to-surface missile is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to virtually any target in China, as well as other countries within a 5,000-km radius.
The indigenously developed missile was originally scheduled for launch on Wednesday from the Defence Research &Development Organisation (DRDO) test range off the Odisha (Orissa); but the launch had to be put off because of heavy lightning in the area.
Agni-V was test-fired at 8:05 am today from the Integrated Test Range at Wheeler Island from a mobile launcher amid a light drizzle. The missile took about 20 minutes to hit its target near Indonesia in the Indian Ocean.
Scientists at the DRDO) said Agni-V, the latest in the Agni ('fire' in Hindi and Sanskrit) series, has several new technological features related to navigation and guidance, warhead and engine systems.
The test was witnessed by military officials, scientists and officials from other agencies which participated in its development.
The launch, Agni-V went smoothly, with a perfect vertical lift-off from the launcher; and data was retrieved for further analysis from all the wide range of communication network systems, officials said.
Agni-V can cover all of China, Eastern Europe, North Eastern and Eastern Africa and even Australia if fired from the Nicobar Islands.