India successfully test fires Agni-V, joins top missile club

Agni V

Preparation for Agni-V test had gathered momentum after India achieved successful results from the first development trial of Agni IV, which has a strike range of more than 3,500 km, from the same launch pad on November 15, 2011.

Apart from Saraswat, who is also the scientific advisor to the Defence Minister, a host of top defence scientists, military officials and functionaries of concerned agencies were present at the site to monitor, supervise and witness the maiden test of the new generation missile.

Top scientists present at the test site said at least 20 laboratories of the DRDO were engaged for several months to prepare the state-of-the-art missile.

About 800 scientists, staff and support personnel had been engaged to make the first ever launch of the Agni-V a success, they said.

Unlike other missiles of indigenously built Agni series, the latest one -- Agni V -- is the most advanced version having several new technologies incorporated in it in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine, said a scientist associated with the project.

Satish Reddy, architect of the missile navigation systems, said, "The systems have worked with high accuracy... We don't require any more technology from anybody else."

Known as 'Agni Lady', an elated Katy Thomas, who has been involved with the Agni project, said, "Today we have done a great event for the country. The mission was perfect with all the events being recorded and we had a perfect separation. The stages of guidance system worked wonderfully.

"All the teamwork which has gone in for the last three years has given fruitful result today," she added.

The test came just days after North Korea's failed rocket launch, but sparked none of the same global condemnation aimed at Pyongyang, an internationally isolated regime that has been banned by the U.N. from testing missile technology.

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