India test-fires nuclear-capable ballistic missile

Updated: 2013-09-16 10:15

(China Daily)

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India test-fires nuclear-capable ballistic missile

This photograph released by India's Defence Research and Development Organisation shows the launch of an Agni V ballistic missile at Wheeler Island, India's Orissa state, on Sunday. Provided to Agence France-Presse


India successfully test-fired its nuclear-capable Agni-V intercontinental ballistic missile on Sunday from Wheeler Island, off the eastern state of Odisha, sources said.

"The missile was launched at 8:45 am local time and successfully hit its designated target after 20 minutes. This was the second launch of the longest-range missile since it was developed by the state-owned Defence Research Development Organisation in April 2012," the sources said.

"The missile met all the mission objectives with absolute accuracy," M.V.K.V. Prasad, director of the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur said.

The Defence Research Development Organisation described the missile as a "non-country-specific" deterrent.

"This second successful test of Agni V has demonstrated the maturity, repeatability and robustness of the system," the organization said.

India test-fires nuclear-capable ballistic missile

The launch put India in the exclusive club of countries such as the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain that have the technology to develop inter-continental ballistic missiles.

The surface-to-surface, three-stage, solid propellant missile has a range of 5,000 km and weighs 50 metric tons. It is 17 meters high and 2 meters wide, and can carry a payload of 1.5 tons.

The Agni V is expected to become part of India's defense arsenal in several years.

It is expected to be capable of carrying a payload of two to 10 separate nuclear warheads. Each warhead could be assigned a different target, separated by hundreds of kilometers.

Agni, "fire" in Sanskrit, is the name given to a series of rockets India developed as part of a guided missile development project launched in 1983.

The Agni V was first tested in April 2012.