India Test Fires Its Agni-V Nuclear-Capable Ballistic Missile For Second Time in Six Months

India successfully test-fired its indigenously developed Agni-V long range nuclear-capable ballistic missile for the second time in past six months.

The missile was launched at around 1.30 p.m. local time (08:00 GMT) on Monday (Dec. 10) from a canister on a road mobile launcher at the Dr. Abdul Kalam Island (formerly known as Wheeler Island), an island off the coast of Odisha state located in eastern India.

The launch operations were carried out and monitored by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) in presence of Scientists from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and other associated officials. SFC manages country’s tactical and strategic nuclear weapons arsenal.

The launch was reportedly a pre-induction test of the missile. The weapon is expected to be inducted into the Indian nuclear arsenal soon.

“All the mission objectives were successfully achieved. This launch comes after a series of successful launches of the missile. It further strengthens the country’s deterrence capability, which has been developed indigenously by assiduous efforts of scientists”, saida statement from Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD).

This was the seventh trial of the state-of-the-art Agni-V ballistic missile. It was last tested on June 3, 2018.

Agni-V is a three-stage solid fueled long-range ballistic missile developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It is part of the Agni series of missiles, one of the missile systems under the original Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP).

The Agni-V missile reportedly has a unclassified strike range of over 5,000 km making it an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) – a missile with a range of 3,000–5,500 km. But some sources claims that the missile is able to reach around 8,000 km making it an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) – a missile with a range of over 5,500 km. Agni-V 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 first test of Agni-5 was conducted on April 19, 2012, the second on September 15, 2013, the third on January 31, 2015 , fourth on December 26, 2016, the fifth on January 18, 2018 and sixth on on June 3, 2018. All the six earlier trials were successful.

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