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Monday September 16, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday September 16, 2013 MYT 9:42:14 AM
Blast off: The second test launch of India’s indigenously developed long range ballistic nuclear-capable Agni-V missile, at Wheeler Island, off the coast of Orissa. — EPA
BHUBANESWAR: India successfully test-fired for a second time a long-range missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, marking another advance in its military capabilities.
The Agni V blasted off at 8.50am yesterday from a concrete launchpad on an island off the eastern state of Orissa.
“The missile met all the mission objectives with absolute accuracy,” M.V.K.V. Prasad, director of the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, said.
Analysts said Agni V has the range to strike any target on the Chinese mainland, including military installations in the far northeast.
It was developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation, which described the missile as a “non-country specific” deterrent while hailing yesterday’s launch as a major milestone.
“This second successful test of Agni V has demonstrated the maturity, repeatability and robustness of the system,” the organisation said in a statement. The country was now ready to start a process of production and subsequent induction of the missile, it added.
India sees the rocket, which has a range of 5,000km, as a major boost to its regional power aspirations.
It narrows the huge gap with China’s missile systems.
Agni, which means “fire” in Sanskrit, is the name given to a series of rockets India developed as part of a guided missile development project launched in 1983.
The Agni V was first tested in April last year.
Defence Minister A.K. Antony congratulated defence scientists on the second successful launch, saying they had made the country proud. — AFP
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