Mumbai - A success: this is how Indian Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh greeted
the launch of Agni-V missile for the
transport of long-range nuclear weapons.
The rocket was launched
from Wheeler Island (Orissa)
this morning at 8:05 (local time), and took
approximately 20 minutes to reach
its goal, somewhere off the coast of Indonesia. The
arsenal of New Delhi is thus enriched by a
weapon already defined
as a "China Killer",
because it is capable of reaching the big cities of Beijing and Shanghai with its range of over
5 thousand kilometers.
Originally, Agni-V should have been launched yesterday, but engineers preferred to delay the tests because of bad weather.
In congratulating the staff of the Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Singh said: "The success of this trial represents another milestone in our quest to give credibility to our security and preparedness, and to continue to explore the frontiers of science. "
SP Das, test director, called the launch of the Agni-V "perfect", because "it replied to all the parameters and objectives we set ourselves." If future tests also prove successful, India will become the seventh country to have intercontinental ballistic missiles in its arsenal, along with the United States, Russia, Britain, China, France and Israel.
The Agni-V is the latest in a series of missiles that India has begun to develop in 1983 and are among the most sophisticated weapons. The name derives from Sanskrit and Agni was the Hindu god of fire.