India all set to operationalise ICBM Agni V
10 December 2018
With the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) successfully carrying the penultimate flight-test of the indigenously-developed inter-continental ballistic missile, Agni V, India is all set to induct the 5,000-km range surface-to-surface ballistic missile into its defence forces.
The long-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile Agni V was flight-tested from a canister on a road mobile launcher at the Dr Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha today.
The Strategic Forces Command (SFC) carried out and monitored the launch operations in the presence of scientists from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and other associated officials, a defence ministry release stated.
All the mission objectives were successfully achieved. This launch comes after a series of successful launches of the missile. It further strengthens the country’s deterrence capability, which has been developed indigenously by assiduous efforts of scientists.
The first batch of the Agni-V, which can reach targets as far Hong Kong, is expected to significantly bolster the country's military prowess.
The missile system, with a strike range of 5,000 km and capable of carrying nuclear warhead, are being inducted into the elite Strategic Forces Command (SFC), official sources said.
They said a series of user trials are being conducted before the country's most sophisticated weapon is handed over to the SFC.
Defence experts said the missile is capable of bringing targets across China including its prominent cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong under its range.
India now joins a select countries, including the US, China, Russia, France and North Korea, that have intercontinental ballistic missiles.
India currently has Agni-1 with 700 km range, Agni-2 with a 2,000-km range, Agni-3 and Agni-4 with 2,500 km to more than 3,500-km range in the Agni family.
The first test of Agni-5 was conducted on 19 April 2012, the second on 15 September 2013, the third on 31 January 2015 and the fourth on 26 December 2016.