Indian Armed Forces is planning to induct its first long range nuclear-capable ballistic missile, Agni-V, in December, according to local reports citing unnamed senior defence ministry officials.
According to the reports, the missile will undergo one more pre-induction test, scheduled in October, before being inducted into the Indian Strategic Forces Command (SFC) which manages country’s tactical and strategic nuclear weapons arsenal.
Agni-V tests are usually conducted from the Launch Complex 4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) located on Dr. Abdul Kalam Island (formerly known as Wheeler Island), an island off the coast of Odisha state in the country’s eastern coast.
Agni-V is a three-stage solid fueled long-range ballistic missile developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India. It is part of the Agni series of missiles, one of the missile systems under the original Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP).
The missile has an unclassified strike range of 5,500–5,800 km but some sources claims that it is able to reach around 8,000 km making it an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). It has a circular error probability (CEP) of 10-80 m with terminal guidance.
Agni-V has a launch mass of around 50 tonnes (49 long tons; 55 short tons) and is designed to carry a nuclear warhead. The missile would, in future, carry MIRV (multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles) payloads being developed by DRDO.
The missile is equipped with state-of-the-art navigation systems such as a very high accuracy Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System (RINS) and the most modern and accurate Micro Navigation System (MINS).
The missile was tested successfully sixth times with the latest being the one on June 3 this year. The first test of Agni-5 was conducted on April 19, 2012, the second on September 15, 2013, the third on January 31, 2015 and fourth on December 26, 2016. The second last test was held on January 18, 2018. All the five earlier trials were.