India on Saturday successfully test-fired “Agni-5” -- the country’s longest-range surface-to-surface Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) -- off the coast of the eastern state of Odisha, according to media reports. This is the third successful test-firing of the 50-tonne missile, which has a range of over 3,100 miles.
The missile was reportedly launched from Wheeler Island, about six miles off the coast of Odisha, early on Saturday. This was the first “canister-based” launch of the three-stage missile, which has previously been tested using mobile launching vehicles.
“The missile witnessed a flawless ‘auto launch’ and detailed results will be known after data is retrieved from different radars and network systems,” a senior official from India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) -- India’s premier defense research organization -- which developed the missile, said, according to local media reports.
The canister version of the missile is expected to provide the armed forces of the country the required operational flexibility to transport and launch it from a place of their choosing, a DRDO official reportedly said.
Agni-5, a part of the medium to intercontinental range of Agni missile series, is reportedly capable of delivering a nuclear warhead over a distance of 3,100 miles and can cover most parts of China and Europe. The previous versions of Agni missiles vary in range from 430 miles to 2,100 miles.