Fourth Agni-V test launch: Nine things to know

By Team Digit | Published on Dec 26 2016
Fourth Agni-V test launch: Nine things to know
HIGHLIGHTS

With Agni-V, India joins the likes of the USA, Russia and China to have possession of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Earlier today, India held the test launch of Agni-V. The intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which is nuclear-capable, was launched from Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast earlier today, marking an important milestone for India in testing its military strength. The Agni-V test launch today was the first India has held since entering the Missile Technology Control Regime - a 35-nation treaty to impose controls and regulations on unmanned nuclear weapon delivery systems.

The Agni-V missile, launched by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, has marked multiple improvements over the Agni-IV, aiding India’s quest for a more robust arsenal of defence weaponry. With this in the know, here’s looking at the key points of Agni-V, and how heavily it contributes to our weaponry.

1. The missile is driven by solid propellants, and has all-weather, any-terrain launch capability.

2. Agni-V has operating range of up to 5,800 km and warhead load of 1,500 kg. This gives it the ability to target a large area, including northern tips of China, Pakistan and more.

3. In terms of dimensions, the Agni-V is 17 metres long and weighs 50 tonnes.

4. India’s ICBM arsenal includes the Agni-I, II, III and IV, along with Brahmos cruise missiles.

5. Of this series, the very first Agni-I was developed and inducted back in 1989. It had a range of 700 km back then.

6. Following upgrades to the range of the missiles includes 2,000 kms for the Agni-2, while the Agni-3 has 2,500 km range and Agni-IV has 3,500km range.

7. Agni-V is a surface-to-surface missile with a fire-and-forget system to follow ballistic trajectory, and hence, is not easy to detect for others.

8. The Agni-V takes India into a highly exclusive club of nations that include the USA, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom in possession of such long range weapons.

9. Upcoming development of Agni-VI is reportedly under way, which is said to have range of 10,000 km and can be launched even from submarines.

Photo: Associated Press

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