Agni-V, the 5,000-km version of the nuclear capable missile, is in the final phase of testing and is soon set for launch, a senior DRDO official said here today.

“Agni-V is in the final phase of testing. I cannot predict the exact date of its launch, but it will be launched shortly,” Chief Controller R and D (Missiles and Strategic Systems) at DRDO, Avinash Chander, said.

He was addressing a press conference at the Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory to mark the conclusion of its year-long golden jubilee celebrations,

Agni-V, touted as India’s most ambitious strategic missile, will follow last year’s test of the country’s most advanced surface-to-surface missile Agni-IV.

The three-stage Agni-V and the two-stage Agni-IV are poised to add credible deterrence against countries which have missiles like the 11,200-km Dong Feng-31A, Mr. Chander said.

Agni-V will feature Multiple Independently-Targeted Re-entry Vehicles (MIRVs) with each missile being capable of carrying 3-10 separate warheads.

To a question, Mr. Chander said “we have Rs. 20,000 crore worth production orders for Akash missile.”

“By 2020, India will be among the leading countries in the missile development,” he said.

Mr. Chander said the DRDO was trying to set up an independent Centre for Directed High Energy Weapons System which would focus on the use of lasers in weapons system.

On Prahar, he said the 150—km range guided missile was being put into weaponised mode.

“It is the most cost—effective missile in its class. Army has shown good interest and we are sure it will get inducted,” Mr. Chander said.

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