New Delhi: India on Sunday successfully test fired Agni V from Wheeler Island, the country's most potent nuclear capable ballistic missile. The long range missile can carry nuclear warheads and is capable of reaching deep into China and as far as Europe.
Only the UN Security Council permanent members - China, France, Russia, the United States and Britain - have such long-range weapons.
The three stage, solid propellant missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher from the launch complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at about 8:50am, defence sources said.
The surface-to-surface missile, which can carry a nuclear warhead of more than one tonne, witnessed an 'auto launch' and detail results of the trial will be known after thorough analyses of all data retrieved from different radars and network systems, they said.
"The sleek missile, within a few seconds of its blast-off from the Island launch pad, roared majestically into a clear sunny sky leaving behind a trail of thin orange and white column of smoke and within seconds it pierced into sky," said an eye-witness to the launch.
Sunday's launch, conducted in the presence of defence scientists and experts, was the second developmental trial of the long range missile while the first test was conducted on 19 April, 2012 which was a total success.
The indigenously developed missile Agni-V is capable of striking a range of more than 5000 km. It is about 17 meter long and 2 metres wide with launch weight of around 50 tonnes.
Unlike other missiles of indigenously built Agni series, the latest one 'AGNI-V' is the most advanced version having some new technologies incorporated with it in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine.
Many new technologies developed indigenously were successfully tested in the first Agni-V trial. The redundant navigation systems, very high accuracy Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System (RINS) and the most modern and accurate Micro Navigation System (MINS) had ensured the missile reach the target point within a few meters of accuracy.
The high speed onboard computer and fault tolerant software along with robust and reliable bus guided the missile flawlessly, said a defence official.
In the Agni series, India at present has Agni-1 with 700 km range, Agni-2 with 2000 km range, Agni-3 and Agni-4 with 2500 km to more than 3500 range.
After some more trials, Agni-V will be inducted into the services, the sources said.
With Additional Inputs From PTI