India on Thursday successfully tested Agni-V, validating the long range surface-to-surface ballistic missile’s reliability.
“This was the fifth test of the missile and the third consecutive one from a canister on a road mobile launcher. All the five missions have been successful,” the Defence Ministry said in a statement.
The missile was tested for its full range at 9.53 a.m. from the Dr. Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha. The launch was supervised by project director G. Ramaguru and programme director M.R.M. Babu. The flight performance of the missile was tracked and monitored by radars, range stations and tracking systems all through the mission.
“All objectives of the mission have been successfully met,” the Defence Ministry statement added.
Agni-V, with a range of over 5,000 km, is India’s longest range ballistic missile and can reach most parts of China, making it the mainstay of India’s triad to deliver nuclear weapons.
The user associate test-flight of the missile has further boosted indigenous missile capabilities and deterrence strength of the country.
Describing the trial as “fully successful,” the sources said, the sophisticated missile travelled for 19 minutes and covered 4,900 km.
Agni-V is the most advanced missile in the Agni series with new technologies incorporated in it in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine.
“The navigation systems, very high accuracy Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System (RINS) and the most modern and accurate Micro Navigation System (MINS) had ensured the missile reached the target point within few metres of accuracy. The high speed on-board computer and fault-tolerant software along with robust and reliable bus guided the missile flawlessly,” said an official of the Defence Research and Development Organisation.
The missile is so programmed that after reaching the peak of its trajectory, it will turn towards the Earth to continue its journey towards the intended target with an increased speed due to the attraction of the Earth’s gravitational pull, he said.
Its path is precisely directed by the advanced on-board computer and inertial navigation system, the official added.
Short preparation time
The first two successful flights of Agni-V in 2012 and 2013 were in open configuration.
The third, fourth and Thursday’s launch from a canister, integrated with a mobile sophisticated launcher, were in its deliverable configuration that enables launch of the missile with a very short preparation time as compared to an open configuration.
It also has advantages of higher reliability, longer shelf life, less maintenance and enhanced mobility.
(With PTI inputs)