India on Thursday successfully tested its long range surface-to-surface ballistic missile, Agni-5, for its full range from Dr Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha. The nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) has a strike range of 5,000 km, which can cover most of China.
The missile will eventually be inducted into the tri-service, Strategic Forces Command, which manages India's nuclear arsenal. With the Agni-5, India will become part of a small group of countries having ICBMs (range of 5,000-5,500 km) — only the US, China, Russia and France are known to have ICBMs.
This was the fifth test of the missile and the third consecutive one from a canister on a road mobile launcher, the defence ministry said in a statement, adding that all the missions.
• Agni- 5 is the intercontinental surface-to-surface nuclear capable ballistic missile. It is the latest in India’s “Agni” family of medium to intercontinental range missiles.
• Agni-5 has a range of over 5,000 km and can carry about a 1,000-kg warhead. It can target almost all of Asia including Pakistan and China and Europe.
• The 17-metre long Agni-5 Missile weighs about 50 tonnes and is a very agile and modern weapon system.
• The surface-to-surface missile is a fire-and-forget system that cannot be easily detected as it follows a ballistic trajectory. India describes the Agni – 5 missile system as a ‘weapon of peace’.
• India has already joined an elite club of nations that possess the ICBM launch capability when the maiden test-firing of Agni-V was successfully conducted in April, 2012. Only the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – China, France, Russia, the United States and Britain, along with Israel, have so far possessed such long-range missiles.