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India set to join Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile club with Agni-V missile

CNN-IBN
Apr 18, 2012 at 06:10pm IST

Balasore: India will on Wednesday test-fire the 5000-km range surface-to-surface Agni-V Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) capable of covering entire China and reaching deep into Europe. Agni-V will help India gatecrash into a small and exclusive club of nations with intercontinental ballistic missile capability.

Agni-V is capable of carrying nuclear warheads and will be crucial for India's defence against China. The missile can carry a pay-load of 1 tonne, is 17 m long, 2 m wide and weighs 50 tonnes. After the missile is inducted into India's strategic forces by 2014-2015, India will acquire a strong deterrent capacity against China.

Agni-V can cover entire China, Eastern Europe, North Eastern and Eastern Africa and even Australia if fired from the Nicobar Islands.

India set to join ICBM club with Agni-V missile

After the missile is inducted into India's strategic forces, India will acquire a strong deterrent capacity against China.

The launch is expected to be closely monitored by India's nuclear-armed rivals China and Pakistan and by western countries, but is unlikely to draw the kind of criticism aimed at North Korea after its own failed long-range rocket launch last week.

Only the permanent members of the UN Security Council - China, Russia, France, the United States and the United Kingdom - have such long distance missiles. Israel, too, is believed to posses ICBMs although there is no official confirmation of the same.

The DRDO will test fire the Agni-V missile from Wheeler Island in Odisha on Wednesday. The missile has a range of 5,000 kilometres, a marked improvement over India's current missiles which can hit potential enemy targets over a distance of just 3,500 kilometres.

According to Defence Research and Development Organiation chief Dr VK Saraswat the Agni-V missile is among the best in its class in the world with its advanced ring-laser gyros, composite rocket motors and highly accurate micro-navigation systems.

The three-stage solid fuelled missile will be put into test for the first time with some advance and indigenous technology with the support of a canisterised mobile launcher. It can withstand the 5000 degree centigrade temperatures when re-entering the earth's atmosphere.

Scientists associated with Agni-V project are quite optimistic about its performances, as the trial of Agni-IV, which has a range of 3,500 km, on November 15, 2011 was highly satisfactory in terms of its 'control and guidance' system.

Agni-V will add another feather to such class of missiles that India possesses at present. The Agni-I has 700 km, Agni-II (2,000 km), Agni-III and IV (3,000 plus km) range.

However, China with its huge nuclear and missile arsenal which includes the 11,200-km Dong Feng-31A ICBM capable of hitting any Indian city is far ahead in the missile race.

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