New Delhi (Web Dsk): India on Thursday morning, test-fired its Agni-V intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in its final operational configuration from the Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast, taking another step forward toward its eventual induction into the Strategic Forces Command (SFC), Indian media reported.
There was no immediate word on whether the first "user-trial" of the nuclear-capable Agni-V missile, which can even reach the northern-most parts of China with its strike range of over 5,000-km, had met all the parameters laid down for the test.
ANI quoted defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman as saying, "We have successfully launched nuclear capable ballistic missile Agni-V today."
The Agni-V was last tested on December 26, 2016, which was then described as the fourth and final experimental test of the three-stage missile. The tri-Service SFC, established in 2003 to manage India's nuclear arsenal, will have to conduct a few more user-trials before the 50-tonne missile is produced in adequate numbers for induction.
While the 17-metre long Agni-V was tested in an "open configuration" in April 2012 and September 2013, the third and fourth tests in January 2015 and December 2016 saw it being fired from a hermetically sealed canister mounted on a Tatra launcher truck.
The missile's canister-launch version makes it deadlier since it gives the armed forces requisite flexibility to swiftly transport and fire the missile from anywhere they want.
Once the Agni-V is inducted, India will join the super-exclusive club of countries with ICBMs (missiles with a range of over 5,000-5,500km) alongside the US, Russia, China, France and the UK.