Agni 5, which has gone through four tests, will be the longest range missile in military arsenal. (File)
New Delhi: Agni-5, India's longest range nuclear capable missile, was successfully test fired from the Kalam Island off Odisha coast today by the Defence Research and Development Organisation or DRDO. The intercontinental surface-to-surface ballistic missile, the latest in India's "Agni" family of medium to intercontinental range missiles, with new technology for navigation and guidance, gives India the strategic depth it needs to contain its enemies, say scientists. Ready to be deployed, the Agni-5 will soon join India's military arsenal.
This was the first test of the Agni-5 missile after India became a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime, a 35-nation group to check the spread of unmanned delivery systems for nuclear weapons.
"Successful test firing of Agni V makes every Indian very proud. It will add tremendous strength to our strategic defence," said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, congratulating the team of scientists behind the successful launch.
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 solid propellant driven missile will be tested from a canister which gives it all-weather and any terrain mobile launch capability.
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 already has in its arsenal the Agni 1, 2, 3 and 4 missile systems and supersonic cruise missiles like Brahmos.
India describes the Agni - 5 missile system as a 'weapon of peace'.
The first missile of the series, Agni-I was developed under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program and tested in 1989.
In the series, Agni-1 has a 700-km range, Agni-2 has a 2,000 km range, and Agni-3 and Agni-4 have a 2,500 km to more than 3,500 km range.
The Agni-6 is reported to be in early stages of development and the latest and most advanced version, capable of being launched from submarines as well as from land, with a strike-range of 8,000-10,000 km.