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India Successfully Test-Fires Agni-5
Feb 02, 2015

India on 31st January successfully test-fired indigenously developed intercontinental surface-to-surface nuclear capable ballistic missile Agni-5, which has a strike range of over 5000 km. and can carry a nuclear warhead of over one ton, from Wheeler's Island off Odisha coast.

Main Features

  • The three stage (the first rocket engine takes it to a height of about 40 km.; the second stage pushes it to about 150 km.; the third stage takes it to about 300 km. above the Earth. And the missile finally reaches a height of about 800 km.) solid propellant missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher from the launch complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR).

  • This launch was the third developmental trial of the long range missile.

  • The first test was conducted on 19 April, 2012 and the second test on 15 September, 2013 from the same base.

  • The indigenously developed surface-to-surface missile Agni-5 is capable of striking a range more than 5000 km.

  • With a range of 5000 km., the nuclear-capable missile can carry a warhead in the east as far as all of China and in the west all over Europe.

  • It is about 17 meters long, 2 metres wide and has a launch weight of around 50 tons.

  • The missile can carry a nuclear warhead of more than one ton.

  • Agni-5 is a most advanced missile having some new technologies incorporated with it in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine.

  • Lot of new technologies developed indigenously were successfully tested in the first Agni-5 trial. The 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 reach the target point within few meters of accuracy.

  • The high speed onboard computer and fault tolerant software along with robust and reliable bus guided the missile flawlessly.

  • After a few more trials, Agni-5 will be inducted into the services. The development of Agni-5 began in 2009 and it will likely be inducted in 2015.

  • Agni-5 gives India the ability to launch nuclear weapons from land at will from anywhere in India.  It will give India the ability to hit back or have second-strike capability even after a nuclear strike.

Use of Canister System

  • The use of corrosion-resistant composites and digital connectivity within the missile makes it easier in some sense to turn the Agni-V into a canisterised missile system transportable by road and rail ready to launch on demand. The Agni-V in canisterised configuration consists of a mission ready missile, a gas generator for ejecting the missile out of the canister to a height of about 30 metres at which point the Stage-I motor ignites, and the canister itself that provides protection besides serving as a cold-launch tube.

  • This cold launch scheme obviates the need to add a jet deflector to the launcher and also allows the missile to be launched from relatively unprepared strips since the strength of the launching surface becomes far less of a concern. A fully automated inspection system based on air-coupled ultrasonic technique for the Agni 5 canister has been developed as well.

India has at present in its armoury of Agni series, Agni-1 with 700 km. range, Agni-2 with 2000 km. range, Agni-3 and Agni-4 with 2500 km. to more than 3500 km. range.


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