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Agni-V, capable of reaching China, test-fired successfully

DHAMARA (ODISHA): India on Thursday took a major leap in its strategic capability by successfully test-firing its nuclear capable, 5000 km-range Agni-V missile, bringing China under its cover and achieving the capacity of building ICBMs.

With this, India joined an elite missile club of the US, Russia, France and China, which produce inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

The surface-to-surface Agni-V is capable of striking a target more than 5,000 km away. It is about 17-metres-long and two-metres-wide with launch weight of around 50 tonnes. The sophisticated missile can carry a nuclear warhead of more than one tonne.

This is the first time India has produced a missile that has brought China within its range and it is being considered a big deterrent capability.

"We had a successful launch of Agni-V. The missile lifted off at 8.07 hours today," Defence Research and Development Organisation chief V K Saraswat said after the three-stage solid propellant missile was test fired from launch complex-4 of Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast.

Agni-V had a smooth and perfect vertical lift-off from the launcher and a thorough analysis was done to assess its health parameters after retrieval of data from the wide range of sophisticated communication network systems, Saraswat said.

"The sleek missile, within a few seconds of its blast-off from the Island launch pad roared majestically into the sky leaving behind its a trajectory a trail of thin orange and white smoke before disappearing," a defence official said.

ITR director S P Dass said, "It was a perfect launch and the missile hit the pre-determined target and the mission met all its parameters.

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