Written by Staff Writer
31 Jan, 2015 | 5:54 pm
India successfully test-launched Agni-5, its longest range ballistic missile, for the third time off the Odisha coast on Saturday.
The missile was launched from a canister from Wheeler Island, giving it higher road mobility.
The three stage, solid propellant “missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher from the launch complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at about 8.06 hours,” ITR Director M V K V Prasad said.
“The missile, witnessed a flawless ‘auto launch’ and detailed results will be known after all data retrieved from different radars and network systems,” he added.
With a range of 5000 km, the nuclear-capable missile can carry a warhead in the east as far as all of China and in the west all over Europe.
The three-stage missile is about 17 meters long and weighs 50 tons. The first rocket engine takes it to a height of about 40 kilometers. The second stage pushes it to about 150 kilometers.
The third stage takes it to about 300 kilometers above the Earth. And the missile finally reaches a height of about 800 kilometers.
The missile travels faster than a bullet and can carry 1000 kilogram of nuclear weapon. It can be launched only on direct orders from the Prime Minister; India hopes it turns out to be a weapon of peace not war.
India carried out two successful tests of the basic version of Agni-5 in 2012 and 2013.
The development of Agni-5 began in 2009 and according to DRDO it will likely be inducted in 2015.
Agni-5 gives India the ability to launch nuclear weapons from land at will from anywhere in India. It will give India the ability to hit back or have second-strike capability even after a nuclear strike.
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