India Test Launches Agni-V Long-range Missile

19 Apr 2012

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  A surface-to-surface Agni V missile is launched from the Wheeler Island off the eastern Indian state of Odisha 


India has launched a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile able to carry a nuclear warhead, say media.

The locally-developed Agni-V missile was originally scheduled to have been launched on Wednesday in the eastern state of Orissa, reports the BBC.

Defence officials had delayed the launch until Thursday because of heavy lightning in the area.

The missile has a range of more than 5,000km (3,100 miles), within range of targets in China.

Analysts say the Agni (meaning "fire" in Hindi and Sanskrit) missile family is to be the cornerstone of India's missile-based nuclear deterrent.

The missiles are among the country's most sophisticated weapons.

In 2010, India successfully test-fired Agni-II, an intermediate-range ballistic missile with a range of more than 2,000km (1,250 miles).

Defence analyst, Rahul Bedi says a successful test flight of the Agni-V missile, which is capable of delivering a single 1.5-ton warhead deep inside nuclear rival China's territory, would strengthen India's nuclear deterrence once it comes into service by 2014-15.

It is 17.5m tall, solid-fuelled, has three stages and a launch weight of 50 tons. It has cost more than 2.5bn rupees ($480m; £307m) to develop.

Only China, Russia, France, the US and UK have such long-range missiles. Israel is thought to possess them.

Tags: World, News, India Test Launches Agni-V

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