India to Test Launch Agni-5 ICBM in March
India plans to test launch its new Agni-5 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), capable of carrying nuclear warheads, in the second half of March, The Times of India reported on Tuesday.
The Agni-5 has a striking range of up to 5,000 kilometers (around 3,100 miles), which means it could bring targets as far away as northern China within reach. Only Russia, the United States, China, Britain and France have such missiles in their arsenals.
“Integration of Agni-5 is on, one at Hyderabad and the other at Wheeler Island. Later part of March we will be launching this ICBM,” Vijay Kumar Saraswat, Scientific Advisor to the Defense Minister, was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
Earlier versions of the Agni series, Agni 1-3 with a range between 700 and 3,500 kilometers are already in service with the Indian Army, while Agni-4 remains in testing mode. It was successfully tested last year.
Compared to previous Agni variants, the Agni 4 and 5 have a better striking precision and are based on mobile launchers, while the older missiles needed rail mobile launchers with an exhaustive infrastructure.
Source: RIA Novosti News - NEW DELHI, February 14, 2012 (en.rian.ru)
Photo: Earlier versions of the Agni series, Agni 1-3 with a range between 700 and 3,500 kilometers are already in service with the Indian Army (© AFP/ Raveendran)