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   Agni-V missile to be test fired today
Agni-V, Test fire, DRDO Chief V.K. Saraswat, Agni V, Orissa, Inter-Continental Ballistic MissileNuclear Missile

Balasore:India is set to join an elite club of nations possessing the Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) as nuclear capable Agni-V missile is due to be launched from the Wheeler Island off the Orissa Coast on Wednesday.

Agni-V, India's most powerful ballistic missile with the longest range, is all set to lift off from Wheeler Island, off the Odisha coast, on Wednesday evening. It can take out targets 5000 km away.

Although it is of the class of an Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM), the success of the mission will enable India join a select band of nations with capability to design, develop and produce Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs).

Many crucial technologies will be tested during the flight of the missile, whose three stages are being propelled by solid fuel. The test will last 18 to 20 minutes before the missile impacts the target point deep inside the Indian Ocean.

V.K. Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister, told The Hindu, the launch will mark a “historic day.” “Agni-V is a game-changer and a technological marvel. It is a weapon which can perform multiple functions.” It could be used for anti-satellite capability, for putting micro and nano satellites in orbit and carry multiple warheads.

DRDO Chief V K Saraswat had recently said the missile is being integrated at various facilities for the test launch which will be witnessed by military officials and other agencies which participated in its development.

Dr. Saraswat said it was comparable to the missiles of this class developed by the U.S., France, Russia and China. He said the performance of the systems during the phase three and four tests had been good and satisfactory.

On the timeline fixed for fully developing Agni-5, Saraswat had said another one year of testing will be involved.

In November last year, DRDO had successfully test fired the 3,500 km range Agni-4 missile giving muscle to India's deterrent capability against the military adversaries.

DRDO has also placed necessary equipments to collect data on the trajectory and flight of the missile and other necessary data which will be studied further for its future development.

Agni-5 will be a three-stage, all solid fuel powered, 17-metre tall missile with capability to carry various forms of payload, officials said.

he surface-to-surface missile Agni-V which can carry a pay-load of 1 tonne is 17 m long, 2 m wide and weighs 50 tonnes.

Scientists associated with Agni-V project are quite optimistic about its performances, as the first trial of Agni-IV on November 15 last year was highly satisfactory in terms of its 'control and guidance' system.

The 5000 km range Agni-V missile would add another feather to such class of missiles that India possesses at present. The Agni-I has 700 km, Agni-2 (2,000 km), Agni-III and IV (3,000 plus km) range.

Tue 17 Apr, 2012,9:30:18 PM
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