India test fires ballistic missile
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Dhamara (Odisha), Apr 19: India Thursday test-fired nuclear-capable Agni-V Inter- Continental Ballistic Missile that has brought China within its reach with a strike range of over 5000 km.
The surface-to-surface Agni-V was launched from a mobile platform from the Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast at 8:07 am. That placed India at the threshold of an elite five-member club that possesses ICBMs.
The 17.5 metre-tall and two metre-wide missile with a launch weight of around 50 tonnes, including a 1.5 tonne dummy warhead, blasted off from the island launchpad leaving behind an orange plume. It rose to a height of 600 km before re-entering the atmosphere to hit a target over 5000 km away in the Indian Ocean, defence sources said.
Earlier, the missile was to be launched last evening but it had to be put off due to bad weather.
The sophisticated missile can carry a nuclear warhead of more than one tonne.
This is the first time India has produced a missile that has brought China within its range and it is being considered a big deterrent capability though government itself does not specifically mention any target. “We had a successful launch of Agni-V,” Defence Research and Development Organization chief V K Saraswat said after the three-stage solid propellant missile was test-fired.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Defence Minister A K Antony and BJP President Nitin Gadkari congratulated the defence scientists on their achievement.
Top scientists present at the test site said at least 20 laboratories of the DRDO were engaged for several months to prepare the state-of-the-art missile.
About 800 scientists, staff and support personnel had been engaged to make the first ever launch of the Agni-V a success, they said.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 19 Apr 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 19 Apr 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 20 Apr 2012 00:00:00 IST
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