India on Wednesday successfully tested its nuclear-capable surface to surface ballistic missile Agni-5 that can hit a target at a range of 5,000 km from A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Island.
“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 Defence Ministry said in a 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 Agni-5 has been developed by the DRDO and the Bharat Dynamics Ltd and weighs close to 50,000 kgs.
The missile is 1.75 meters tall with a diameter of 2 metres. It’s 1,500 kg warhead will be placed on top of the three-stage rocket boosters that are powered by solid fuel.
Scientists have said that at its fastest, the Indian intercontinental ballistic missile will be 24 times faster than the speed of sound travelling 8.16 kilometres per second, and achieving a high speed of 29,401 kilometres per hour.
It is equipped with a ring laser gyroscope inertial navigation system that works with satellite guidance.
It is also capable of hitting its target with pinpoint precision. It can be launched from mobile launchers.
It is programmed in such a way that after reaching the peak of its trajectory, it turns towards the earth to continue its journey to the target with an increased speed, due to the earth’s gravitational pull.