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Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Agni-V is an intercontinental ballistic missile developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (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. According to DRDO chief, the exact range of Agni V is "classified” but afterwards he described Agni V as a missile with a range of 5,500-5,800 km.

Senior defence scientist M. Natrajan disclosed in 2007 that DRDO was working on an upgraded version of the Agni III, known as the Agni-V (Earlier known as Agni-III* and Agni-IV), and that it would be ready in 4 years. The missile was to have a range of more than 5,000 kilometers (3,100 mi).

The Agni-5 is the first Indian ballistic missile capable of reaching almost the entire Chinese landmass, including Beijing, as well as the Middle East. India was already capable of reaching all of Pakistan; India’s other nuclear-armed neighbor, with its existing nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.

The three-stage Agni-5 is solid fueled and can carry a 1,500-kilogram payload a distance of 5,000 kilometers, according to news reports. The missile was fired from Wheeler Island, off the eastern coast of the country.

Official reaction from Pakistan has been muted. According to a Pakistani official speaking at a press briefing held after the launch, India had informed Pakistan of the launch, consistent with an agreement between the two countries on prenotification of ballistic missile launches.

Pakistan tested the Shaheen-1A nuclear-capable ballistic missile on April 25, according to a press release from the Pakistani military’s Inter Services Public Relations office. The release did not state the range of the missile, but analysts said it was approximately 700 kilometers.

China, with which India fought a war in 1962, has not reacted strongly to the test. In an April 19 statement, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Liu Weimin said, “China and India are cooperative partners rather than competitive rivals.” The Chinese state-owned Global Times, however, published an editorial soon after the test, warning that “India should not overestimate its strength” and that India “would stand no chance in an overall arms race with China.”

Some Chinese analysts have claimed that the Agni-5 actually has a range of 8,000 kilometers, according to the Indo-Asian News Service.

Aportunity ahead.

With the launch of the 50-tonne missile from the Wheeler Island off Odisha coast at 8.07 am, and its 20-minute flight to an ''impact point towards western Australia'', India also yanked open the door to the super-exclusive ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) club that counts only the US, Russia, China, France and the UK as its members.

India can, however, can sit at this high table only when the 17.5-metre tall Agni-V, which just about meets the 5,500-km ICBM benchmark, becomes fully operational after ''four to five repeatable tests'' and user-trials. It will be around 2015 that the three-stage, solid-fuelled missile will be ready for deployment by the tri-Service Strategic Forces Command.

What is Agni?

Agni missile is a family of medium to intercontinental range ballistic missiles developed by India, named after one of the five elements of nature. The first missile of the series, Agni-I was developed under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program and tested 1991. After its success, Agni missile program was separated from the IGMDP upon realizing its strategic importance. It was designated as a special program in India's defense budget and provided adequate funds for subsequent development. As of 2008, the Agni missile family comprises three deployed variants while two more variants are under testing.

Name Type Range weight length

Agni-I MRBM 700 700-1200 km 12000 kg 15 m

Agni- II IRBM 2000-2500 km 16000 kg 21 m

Agni-III IRBM 3000-5000 km 48000 kg 17 m

Agni –IV IRBM 2500-3700 km - -

Agni – V ICBM 5000-8000 km 49000 kg 17.5 m

What is intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)?

An intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is a ballistic missile with a long range (greater than 5,500 km or 3,500 miles) typically designed for nuclear weapons delivery (delivering one or more nuclear.

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