N-capable Agni V tested

Agni V missileAgni V missile takes off from the Wheeler Island

India Sunday test-fired its longest range nuclear capable missile, the Agni V, for second time, with the system meeting all required technical parameters. The 5,000 km plus Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) was tested off the coast of Orissa and was fired in the presence of the Strategic Force Command team to get acquainted and trained with the system.

"The missile, powered by three-stage solid rocket motors had a flawless, spectacular launch in auto mode and followed its entire trajectory in textbook manner, dropping the three motors at predefined stages into the ocean," a DRDO spokesperson said.

This is the second time that the missile, which is designed to be stored and launched from a canister to give it enhanced operational readiness, has been successfully tested by DRDO after being fired for the first time last year. The launch was followed by congratulatory messages from Defence Minister A K Antony.

The successful test is also considered to be an important milestone as it has now paved the way for serial production of the system, followed by which it will be inducted into the strategic forces." The launch also clears the way for its canisterisation. The Agni V missile, in its operational form, is designed to be stored and launched from the canister, enhancing its storage, operational readiness, transportability, response time and shelf life," the spokesperson said.

Antony in hospital

Defence Minister A K Antony will be out of action for a few days after undergoing a minor surgery Sunday. The minister, who congratulated DRDO scientists for the successful launch of Agni V, has undergone a prostate surgery in the Capital, Defence Ministry officials said. Describing the procedure as routine and the surgery as successful, officials said the minister would remain in hospital for two days for observation. Antony underwent the surgery at the Army Research and Referral Hospital. ENS

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