India Successfully Launches First Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile
New Delhi; April 19,2012: Today India launched it's first Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile(ICBM), called the "Agni-V". The missile was launched from Wheeler Islands in the Indian State of Odisha (Formerly known as Orissa).
The missile was developed by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). It took about four years to develop this missile, which has the capability to reach strike targets well beyond 5,500 km. The Agni-V can also carry nuclear warheads up-to 1.1 tons.
This successful launch has allowed India to join the elite group of nations which possess far-reaching nuclear rocket technology, including the United States, China, Russia, Great Britain and France.
Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh described the Agni-V test as a major milestone in India's military power. Indian defense minister A.K. Antony congratulated DRDO chief Dr. V.K. Saraswat, stating that the "immaculate success" of the Agni-5 is a major milestone in the country's missile research and development program.
The Agni-V test was conducted using a rail mobile launcher. The missile took about 15 minutes to reach the designated target point, more than 5,000 kilometers away in the Indian Ocean. The missile was to be launched on Wednesday, but the test had to be postponed due to poor weather conditions.
Agni-V is about 17.5 m long and weighs 50,000 kilograms, and was developed with a budget of about 2,500 crore rupees.
Agni-V will be operational by 2014–2015 after four to five repeatable tests by the DRDO. The missile will bring all of Asia, including the northernmost parts of China, 70% of Europe and other regions under its strike range.