Agni-V to be tested twice this year, could be inducted by 2015 via The Times of India

NEW DELHI: India’s most formidable strategic missile, the over 5,000-km Agni-V, will be tested twice before this year ends to ensure it is ready for full-scale induction in the armed forces towards end-2015.

Interestingly, the latter of the two tests will see the 50-tonne Agni-V being fired from a hermetically-sealed canister mounted on a launcher truck. A canister-launch system will give the forces the requisite operational flexibility to swiftly transport the ballistic missile and launch it from a place of their choosing. Consequently, the highly road-mobile Agni-V will be able to hit even the northernmost part of China if fired from close to the Line of Actual Control.

“We are getting ready for two more tests of the three-stage Agni-V this year, which will include the canister-launch trial. Our aim is to make the missile ready for induction in two years,” said new DRDO chief Avinash Chander, talking exclusively to TOI.


But is DRDO being too optimistic about the Agni-IV and Agni-V induction schedules, given that both have been tested only once till now? “No, we require just six to seven trials. We are no longer in the age when a large number of trials are required,” said Chander, a missile scientist who was the overall head of the expansive Agni programme earlier.

“These surface-to-surface missiles have well-defined (parabolic) trajectories, unlike say air-to-air missiles. We conduct thousands of tests through modeling and simulation in our labs under different conditions. The actual flight trials are to validate what is predicted in simulation tests, match the algorithms,” he added.

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