New Delhi: India has successfully carried out its first user trial of the nuclear-capable Agni-5 ballistic intercontinental missile. The trial has been conducted on Wednesday, October 27, at approximately 1950 hrs from APJ Abdul Kalam Island, Odisha. "The missile, which uses a three-stage solid-fuelled engine, is capable of striking targets at ranges up to 5,000 kilometres with a very high degree of accuracy", the Ministry of Defence said in an official statement.
"The successful test of Agni-5 is in line with India's stated policy to have 'credible minimum deterrence' that underpins the commitment to 'No First Use", the statement added.
The surface-to-surface intercontinental ballistic missile Agni-5 is capable of striking targets at ranges up to 5,000 kilometres with a very high degree of accuracy. Also, the Agni-5 is equipped with a "ring laser gyroscope-based inertial navigation system and micro inertial navigation system." The gyroscope displays the missile location and trajectory.
Earlier in September this year, The Indian Express had reported that the pandemic had delayed the missile's induction into the armed forces in 2020, as some important tests of the "multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV)" missile could not take place. Though the missile's MIRV capability was "secretly" tested in June, the September test (which has happened now) will be live. A MIRV missile hits multiple targets in a single launch and is more difficult to intercept by an anti-ballistic missile system than a conventional missile.
The 17.5-meter, three-stage solid-fuel rocket weighs 50 tons with a payload capacity of 1.5 tons. The range of Agni-5 allows it to strike targets in parts of Africa, Europe, and all of Asia.