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India flight tests nuclear-capable Agni-5 long-range ballistic missile

India conducted a successful flight test of its Agni-5 long-range ballistic missile on Sunday, June 3, a Ministry of Defence release said, the sixth test of the indigenously developed nuclear-capable missile.

“The long range ballistic missile Agni 5 is successfully flight tested at 0945 hrs today from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island (Wheeler Island),” the release said. “All the Radars, Electro Optical Tracking Stations and Telemetry Stations tracked the vehicle all through the course of the trajectory. All the mission objectives have been achieved.”

India test Agni-5 ballistic missile
India conducts a flight test of its nuclear-capable Agni-5 long-range ballistic missile, June 3,2018. Image: India MoD

Sunday’s launch was the sixth test launch of Agni-5. Citing an unnamed official, The Times of India reported that new technologies, including a Ring Laser Gyro-based Inertial Navigation System (RINS) and a Micro Inertial Navigation System (MINS), were tested.

Developed indigenously by the Defence Research & Development Organisation, the solid-fuelled Agni-5 is India’s most-advanced missile, and is claimed to be its first intercontinental ballistic missile. It was test fired for the first time in April 2012. The road-transportable canisterized version was first tested in January 2015.

Agni-5’s claimed range of more than 5,500 kilometres (about 3,400 miles) means it is capable of reaching parts of Africa and Europe and puts it on the threshold of intermediate range (up to 5,500 km) and intercontinental-class. The three-stage missile weighs about 49 metric tonnes and can carry a 1.5 tonne payload.

The Agni-5 was last flight tested in January.

India has conducted a number of missile tests in recent months.

In late May, the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was tested twice in two days.

In February, the nuclear-capable Dhanush short-range missile, the Prithvi-II short-range missile, the Agni-I medium-range missile and the Agni-II medium range ballistic missile were tested.

In December, DRDO declared as successful a launch of its Akash surface-to-air missile fitted with an indigenous seeker. A month earlier, DRDO said it conducted a successful test flight of the indigenously developed Nirbhay long-range sub-sonic cruise missile.

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