SP's LandForces - - NEWS IN BRIEF -

The In­dian De­fence Re­search and Devel­op­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion (DRDO) has suc­cess­fully con­ducted the first can­is­ter-based trial of the Agni-V in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile (ICBM) on Wheeler Is­land off the Odisha coast. Launched from a can­is­ter-mounted on a road-mo­bile launcher from the in­te­grated test range’s launch com­plex-IV, the nu­clear-ca­pa­ble mis­sile climbed to a height of more than 600 km in its parabolic tra­jec­tory and ac­cu­rately hit the des­ig­nated tar­get point in the In­dian Ocean af­ter 20 min­utes. The mis­sile’s pa­ram­e­ters were mon­i­tored by radars and elec­tro-op­ti­cal sys­tems, while the ships lo­cated in mid-range and at the tar­get point tracked the ve­hi­cle and wit­nessed the fi­nal event.

DRDO Mis­siles and Strate­gic Sys­tems Direc­tor Gen­eral and Agni Pro­gramme Mission Direc­tor Dr V.G. Sekaran said: “All mission ob­jec­tives have been achieved, down-range ships have con­firmed fi­nal splash­down, the mission is a great suc­cess and it is a mo­men­tous oc­ca­sion.” It is In­dia’s first ever ICBM launch from a can­is­ter and is a gi­ant leap in coun­try’s de­ter­rence ca­pa­bil­ity.

The road-mo­bile can­is­ter-ver­sion will en­able Agni-V to be fired from stop-to-launch within a few min­utes and en­sure higher re­li­a­bil­ity, longer shelf-life and re­duced main­te­nance. In ad­di­tion, it is ex­pected to pro­vide the In­dian armed forces with the op­er­a­tional flex­i­bil­ity to swiftly trans­port and fire the mis­sile from their pre­ferred lo­ca­tions. Ca­pa­ble of car­ry­ing a 1.1-tonne pay­load, the 17-me­tre­long Agni-V is an in­dige­nously de­vel­oped ICBM with a strike range of 5,000 km. It has proven its ca­pa­bil­i­ties in two pre­vi­ous open con­fig­u­ra­tion launches. The mis­sile is ex­pected to un­dergo one joint trial be­fore en­ter­ing ser­vice with the In­dian Army by the end of this year, re­ported The Hindu.

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