India test-fired its strategic inter-continental ballistic missile Agni-V, joining the exclusive ICBM club of US, Russia, China, France and UK. The solid-fuelled missile with a range of over 5000 km was tested from Wheeler Island, off Odisha coast on Thursday (April 19) morning.
The nuclear-capable, three-stage 17.5 metre tall Agni-V with a weight of 50 tonnes, will become fully operational in another two-three years after further tests and user trials.
“We have met all our mission objectives,” said Avinash Chander, Chief Controller of Missiles, Defence Research Development Organisation, DRDO.
This is the first time India has tested a three-stage, all solid-fuelled missile. Many new technologies including the state of art navigation system and carbon composite rocket motor casings were tested in the missile. All the radar telemetry and electro-optical stations along with cost, besides three ships traced the flight trajectory of the missiles and final terminal event at the impact point.
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh called DRDO Director Dr. V.K. Saraswat and his team to personally congratulate them.
“Today’s successful Agni-V test launch is another milestone in our quest to add to the credibility of our security and preparedness and to continuously explore the frontiers of science,” said Dr. Singh. “The entire nation stands together in honouring the achievements of our scientific community, who have done the country proud.”