Hyderabad: India's longest range missile Agni 5 is all set to be inducted into the armed forces, a top defence ministry official has told NDTV. This comes a day after the fifth consecutively successful launch of the inter-continental ballistic missile that has a range of nearly 5000 kilometres. India now joins a select club of six countries capable of making missiles that can carry nuclear weapons across continents. Agni 5 has been made by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The missile can reach almost all of China, most of Europe and Africa but not the United States of America.
"Developmental trials of Agni 5 Missile have been completed and now induction phase into the armed forces begins," the official said.
The test conducted on Thursday was the same version as the last two trials and the missile had a 'text book performance in its full range'. The test done from Dr Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast was the third consecutive one from a canister on a road mobile launcher.
The canister version of the missile gives India the flexibility to launch it in all weather, day or night and from any location. More than 80 per cent of its components are made by the Indian industry.
The United States, Russia, France, Germany, China and the United Kingdom are the other countries that have similar capabilities.
India took 10 years to develop Agni 5, a feat that took most other countries over 15 years. More than 300 scientists and engineers from DRDO have been involved in making the missile.
India already has in its arsenal long range nuclear-tipped missiles like Prithvi, Agni 1, 2 and 3 and supersonic cruise missiles like Brahmos. Important subsonic cruise missiles like Nirbhay are still under development