India has successfully tested its nuclear-capable Agni-5 intercontinental ballistic missile for the fifth time, the Ministry of Defence said.
“Long Range Surface-to-Surface Ballistic Missile, Agni-5, was successfully flight tested for its full range today at 0953 hrs from Dr Abdul Kalam Island, Odisha,” the ministry said in a press release. “This was the fifth test of the Missile and the third consecutive one from a canister on a road mobile launcher. All the five missions have been successful.”
“All objectives of the mission have been successfully met,” the release added, saying that the successful test reaffirms India’s “indigenous missile capabilities and further strengthens our credible deterrence.”
“The test was highly successful as Agni-V demonstrated the maturity, repeatability and robustness of the system, paving the way for initiation of its production and subsequent induction,” an unnamed defense official told the New Indian Express, adding that recent tests have “proved the designs are just perfect and the system is matured. Now the missile is ready for the production.”
Developed indigenously by the Defence Research & Development Organisation, the solid-fuelled Agni-V is India’s first intercontinental ballistic missile and was test fired for the first time in April 2012. The road-transportable canisterized version was first tested in January 2015.
Agni-5’s range of more than 5,500 kilometers (about 3,418 miles) means it is capable of reaching parts of Africa and Europe. The three-stage missile weighs about 49 metric tonnes and can carry a 1.5 tonne payload.
India has conducted numerous tests of missile systems in recent months. The Advanced Air Defence missile system intercepted a target ballistic missile in a test on December 28. Earlier in December, DRDO declared as successful a launch of its Akash surface-to-air missile fitted with an indigenous seeker, and in November, DRDO said it conducted a successful test flight of the indigenously developed Nirbhay long-range sub-sonic cruise missile.