India test-fires intercontinental ballistic missile
Citing Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the Indian Express reported that the test-fire of the surface-to-surface missile, Agni-V, was conducted off a test range from an island in Odisha, an eastern Indian state on the Bay of Bengal.
“We have successfully launched nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-V today,” the local daily cited Sitharman as saying.
The missile, with its 17-meter-long, 2m-wide body, is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead of about 1.5 tons (1,360 kilograms).
This is the latest version of India’s indigenous missile Agni series. The military currently uses the Agni-1 (range of 700 km), Agni-2 (2,000 km), and the Agni-3 and Agni-4 (2,500-3,500 km).
The new weapon will eventually join the arsenal of India’s Strategic Forces Command, a part of the country’s Nuclear Command Authority responsible for the management and administration of the tactical and strategic nuclear weapons stockpile.
Thursday’s test-fire was the first user-associate test of the Agni-5 missile following four successful developmental trials between 2012 and 2017. ■