India test-fires Agni-V ICBM, hails 'major boost' to military power

India's nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-V successfully test fired

India's nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-V successfully test fired

According to India's Defense Ministry, the country has successfully test-fired a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Tuesday, marking the arrival of India as a major missile power.

"We have successfully launched nuclear capable ballistic missile Agni-V today", ANI quoted defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman as saying.

The test-firing was done from the Abdul Kalam Island defence test facility off the Odisha coast at 0953 hours.

The Agni-5 was last tested on December 26, 2016. Measuring about 55 feet in length, the Agni-V is capable of carrying a payload of 1.5 tons.

Lot of new technologies developed indigenously were successfully tested in the first Agni-5 trial.

Beijing's powerful missile arsenal has driven New Delhi to improve its weapons systems in recent years, with the Agni-5 believed to be able to strike almost all of China.

Vipin Narang, a nuclear expert and political science professor at MIT, said the test sends a strong message to China following the border row a year ago.

Indian news channel NDTV said Thursday's launch confirmed India's place in "the super-exclusive club of countries with ICBMs" citing the U.S., Britain, Russia, China and France as other members. India already has Agni-I (700 km range), Agni-II (2,000 km range), Agni-III (3,000-5,000 km range) and Agni-IV (3,500-4,000 km range) in its arsenal. "May you go further on this trajectory #PresidentKovind". All the previous trials were successful.

The missile, part of an Agni series, was developed by the Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India. Agni-V surface-to-surface ballistic missile has an advanced ring-laser gyros, composite rocket motors and highly accurate micro-navigation systems and inertial navigation systems.

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