India is all set for the first canister-launch of Agni-V missile in a bid to reinforce its nuclear deterrence.
Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Agni-V could target all of Asia and parts of Africa and Europe. It is part of the Agni series of missiles developed under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.
Defence sources said the Agni-V test would be followed by trials of two other variants of Agni missiles and indigenous subsonic cruise missile Nirbhay, whose first test had failed last year. Though the test schedules have not been finalized, Agni-V is expected to be launched by this month-end.
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Agni V as a missile with a range of 5,500–5,800 km. The Agni-V is expected to be operational by 2014 to 2015 after four to five repeatable tests by the DRDO. Indian authorities believe that the solid-fuelled Agni-V is more than adequate to meet current threat perceptions and security concerns. The missile will allow India to strike targets across Asia and into Europe. The missile was designed to be easy to transport by road through the utilization of a canister-launch missile system which is distinct from those of the earlier Agni missiles. Agni-V would also carry (multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles) payloads being concurrently developed. A single MIRV equipped missile can deliver multiple warheads at different targets.