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Agni-V missile launch on Sunday

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OST Bureau

Dhamra/ Bhubaneswar, Sep 14 :

On Sunday, India will finally look forward to the second experimental trial of its most potent and longest range nuclear capable ballistic missile Agni-V which has the ability to target all of Asia and parts of Europe. The test has been postponed twice already for various reasons.

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The indigenously developed surface-to-surface 5000-km range Agni-V missile has been scheduled to be test-fired from a mobile launcher at the Wheeler Island test facility of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) off the Odisha coast any time before Sunday noon.

Defence scientists are eagerly waiting for a successful test like its maiden trial on April 19 last year when the missile had travelled the desired distance in just 20 minutes.

‘’We  expect a better mission accomplishment this time around. This test would be followed by at least two more trials by end of next year before the missile is inducted in the armed forces  possibly in 2015,’’ a defence official said.

The missile which can carry a payload of 1.5 tonne, is 17 metre long,  two metre wide and weighs around 50 tonnes. DRDO is reported to have been working to equip the missile with Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicles (MIRVs) through which each missile can carry two to  ten separate nuclear warheads and strike at different places.

“The trial is aimed at revalidating some new technologies incorporated in the Agni-V system and gauging the performance of its subsystems. The mission team has worked minutely and meticulously to achieve success with high accuracy,” said a senior DRDO official on Saturday.

Agni-V is the most advanced long-range ballistic missile capable of being launched within minutes from a self-contained road mobile launcher.

While the bigwigs of DRDO as well as crews of some television news channels have already arrived at Dhamra, sources said Defence Minister AK Antony may not be there to  witness the launch from the Wheeler Island.

The DRDO chief who is overseeing the launch preparation over the last couple of days, said the missile was ready for the test and the scientists are highly excited about  a successful mission.

“If weather permits the missile will fly in the sky as per schedule,” he added.

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