India today successfully test-fired its inter-continental surface-to-surface ballistic missile Agni-V, with a strike range of over 5,000 km and capability of delivering a nuclear warhead with high precision, from a base off Odisha coast.
The missile had its maiden launch last year.
"A symbol of DRDO's technological excellence and India's strength, Agni-V missile took off majestically at about 0850 hours from the launch complex of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Wheelar's Island," a DRDO official said.
Describing the second trial of Agni-V, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, as fully successful, the official said the missile flew on a predefined path and reached its destination with expected precision.
"India's inter-continental surface-to-surface ballistic missile Agni V, capable of delivering nuclear warhead with high precision, was successfully launched today in a repeat of the spectacular maiden launch last year," a DRDO release said.
The indigenously developed missile, which can carry a nuclear warhead of more than one tonne, is capable of striking a target more than 5000 km away. It is about 17-metres-long and 2-metres-wide with a launch weight of about 50 tonnes.
The missile, powered by three-stage solid rocket motors, had a flawless launch in auto mode and followed its entire trajectory in textbook manner, dropping three motors at predefined stages into the ocean, the release said.
Ships located in mid-range and at target point tracked the vehicle and witnessed the final event. All the radars and electro-optical systems, ship-based and those based on ground stations along the path, monitored the performance parameters of the missile and displayed information in real time.
All the systems and sub-systems of the missile, such as the launch system, navigation system, control systems, rocket motors and the re-entry package performed well.
The navigation systems, very high accuracy Ring Laser Gyro-based Inertial Navigation System (RINS) and the most modern and accurate Micro Navigation System (MINS) ensured the missile reached the target point within few meters of accuracy.
The high-speed onboard computer and fault-tolerant software along with robust and reliable bus guided the missile flawlessly.
Defence Minister A K Antony congratulated scientists of DRDO and said they have "made the country proud".
Praising DRDO scientists, National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon said the event marked a milestone in the long- range missile era of India.
"A major milestone, the second successful test of Agni-V has demonstrated the maturity, repeatability and robustness of the system, paving the way for initiation of productionisation and subsequent induction," a senior DRDO official said.
The launch also clears the way for its canisterisation. Agni-V missile, in its operational form, is designed to be stored and launched from a canister, enhancing its storage, operational readiness, transportability, response time and shelf life, he said.
Today's launch was the second developmental trial of the DRDO-developed missile while the first test, conducted on 19 April, 2012, was a total success.
In the Agni series, India at present has Agni-1 with 700 km range, Agni-2 with 2000 km range and Agni-3 and Agni-4 with 2500 km to more than 3500 range.
After some more trials, Agni-V will be inducted into the services, the sources said.
The Strategic Force Command team along with its top brass was present during all the operations to get acquainted with the system and trained.
Avinash Chander, Secretary Department of Defence R&D guided the launch as well as pre-launch activities. Dr V G Sekaran, DG (MSS), C-in-C SFC, Dr Jayaraman, Director ASL, Satish Reddy, Director RCI, MVKV Prasad, Director ITR, Guruprasad, Director R&DE Engineers Pune were present during the launch operations.
R K Gupta, project director, guided the team of scientists and personnel of the DRDO during the launch.