India Successfully Test-Fires Nuclear-Capable ICBM Agni-V With Range Over 5,000 Km

| January 18 , 2018 , 12:13 IST

India successfully test fired the nuclear-capable inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) Agni-V on Thursday, in its final operational configuration with a strike range of 5,000 kilometres. Once inducted, India will become the 6th nation with ICBM capabilities of ranges over 5,000-5,500km, after US, Russia, China, France and the UK.

Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman confirmed the successful test firing of the Agni-V from the Abdul Kalam island off the Odisha coast, which took place on Thursday morning.

The 3-stage missile Agni-V ICBM was last tested on December 26, 2016, which had then been termed as its fourth and final experimental test. However a few more 'user-trials' will likely be conducted by the tri-Service SFC (which manages India's nuclear arsenal) before the 17-metre long Agni-V missile is produced in adequate numbers for induction into the Strategic Forces Command (SFC).

Previously, the 50-tonne Agni-V ICBM had been tested in an "open configuration" in April 2012 and September 2013, while the third and fourth tests, taking place in January 2015 and December 2016 had it fired from a hermetically sealed canister mounted on a Tatra launcher truck.

The canister-launch version of Agni-V makes id deadlier since through that method the Armed Forces can transport and fire the missile from anywhere they want.

Other than that Prithvi and Dhanush shorter-range missiles, the SFC has already inducted the Agni-I, Agni-II and Agni-III missiles. While the other missiles are mostly geared towards Pakistan, the Agni-IV and Agni-V are specifically designed for deterrence against China.