Agni-5, Long Range Surface-to-Surface Ballistic Missile, has been successfully flight tested for its full range on 18 January, 2018 at 0953 hrs from Dr Abdul Kalam Island, Odisha, formerly known as Wheeler Island. This was the fifth successful test of the Missile and the third consecutive one from a canister on a road mobile launcher. This successful test of Agni-5 reaffirms the country’s indigenous missile capabilities and further strengthens our credible deterrence.
Agni-5, indigenously developed Inter Continental Ballistic Missile, ICBM, had earlier undergone its fourth and final experimental test successfully, also from Dr Abdul Kalam Island Odisha on 26 December 2016.The nuclear-capable missile with its strike range of over 5000-km was test-fired from its canister on a launcher truck. Its range covers entire Pakistan and northern most parts of China as well.
- Agni-V / Agni-5 has been designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, DRDO.
- Agni-V: the surface to surface missile is the most advanced among the Agni series, having new technologies incorporated with it in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine.
- Agni-V is 17.5 meter long, 50 ton missile that can carry a nuclear warhead of more than one ton. It can be transported and swiftly launched from anywhere.
- Agni-V is one of the most accurate strategic ballistic missile of its range class in the world due to Circular Error Probable, CEP on board. This is important because a highly accurate ballistic missile increases the “kill efficiency” of the weapon.
- It will allow Indian weapons designers to use smaller yield nuclear warheads while increasing the lethality of the strike that means Indian defence forces will be able to deploy a much larger nuclear force using less fissile material than other nuclear powers.
- Agni series of missiles was conceptualized by Indian defence planners in the 1980s
- Two-stage Agni technology demonstrator, with a solid-fuel first stage, was first tested at the Interim Test Range in Chandipur in 1989. It was capable of carrying a conventional payload of 1000 kg or a nuclear warhead.
- Agni-I single-stage 700–1250 km range missile was first tested in January 2002. Agni I missiles are rail and road mobile and powered by solid propellants.
- Agni–II the 2000–2500 km range missiles and Agni-III 3000- 3500 km range missiles were developed subsequently.
- Agni-I, Agni-II & Agni-III have already been inducted into Indian Army.
- Agni-IV the 3000–4000 km range missile was successfully test firedon 20 January 2014.
- Agni IV is equipped with state-of-the-art technologies that include indigenously developed ring laser gyro and composite rocket motor, the two-stage Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile, IRBM, can take a nuclear warhead of one ton. It is now undergoing field trials before induction in the armed forces.
Chairman DRDO & Secretary DDR&D Dr S Christopher congratulated Agni-V team and said that the fifth consecutive successful flight test of Agni-V is a major boost to country’s defence capabilities.
India has also started working on Agni-VI. It will be capable of being launched from submarines as well as from land, and will have a strike-range of 8000–10000 km.