DRDO missile experts are on Wheeler Island conducting phase checks ahead of September 15 exercise

Agni-V, India’s longest-range, nuclear-weapons-capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile, will be tested from Wheeler Island in Odisha around September 15.

According to a top official at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), preparations were under way for the second developmental trial of the 5,000-km-range missile. The maiden flight test carried out on April 19 last was a stupendous success and injected India into a group of select nations that possessed the technology for developing Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs).

The September 15 exercise would be a repeat test to demonstrate the capabilities of the missile, said the official. Another three or four tests will be conducted before the system is inducted into the Armed Forces around 2015.

According to another official, DRDO missile technologists had moved to Wheeler Island and begun to conduct phase checks for the missile. Two ships have sailed into the Indian Ocean and will be positioned near a predesignated target point.

High accuracy

The strategic three-stage, solid-fuelled missile is equipped with advanced technologies — besides a ring laser gyro-based inertial navigation system (RINS) and a redundant micro-navigation system (MINS). It will also be carrying a multiple telemetry system. The RINS and MINS would enable the missile to cover a long distance with a high degree of accuracy, the official said.

The 17-metre-long missile has been designed to carry a payload of 1,000 kg over a distance of more than 5,000 km.

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