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  Science   12 Mar 2024  Agni-5 missile test successful

Agni-5 missile test successful

THE ASIAN AGE. | PAWAN BALI
Published : Mar 12, 2024, 1:24 am IST
Updated : Mar 12, 2024, 1:24 am IST

The flight test named Mission Divyastra was carried out from the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducts first flight test of indigenously developed Agni-5 missile with Multiple Independently Targetable Re-Entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology. (PTI Photo)
 Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducts first flight test of indigenously developed Agni-5 missile with Multiple Independently Targetable Re-Entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: In what will boost India’s second-strike nuclear capability, the DRDO on Monday carried out the first flight test of the indigenously developed intercontinental ballistic missile Agni-5 with Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology.

This means that a single ballistic missile will be able to carry multiple nuclear warheads to hit different cities or targets. The flight test named Mission Divyastra was carried out from the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the efforts of the DRDO scientists who participated in the conduct of the complex test. “Proud of our DRDO scientists for Mission Divyastra, the first flight test of indigenously developed Agni-5 missile with Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology,” said Mr Modi.

The defence ministry said that various telemetry and radar stations tracked and monitored multiple re-entry vehicles. “The mission accomplished designed parameters,” it said.

“The project director is a woman and has significant women’s contribution,” government sources said.

With the test of Mission Divyastra, India has joined the select group of nations who have MIRV capability. The United States, Britain, France, China and Russia already use MIRV missiles. Pakistan tested MIRV in 2017, according to Washington-based non-profit advocacy group, the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.

“India’s nuclear deterrent takes a big step forward with the flight test of an ICBM with multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs). The MIRVed Agni 5, aka Divyastra, will bolster India's second-strike capability against China, engaged in a nuclear buildup frenzy,” said strategic analyst Brahma Chellaney.

Agni-5 can strike a target at a range of over 5,000 km with a very high degree of accuracy.

The MIRV test was carried amidst speculation that India was planning to launch a K-4 missile, a nuclear capable missile designed to be fired from submarines. A Chinese research vessel Xiang Yang Hong 01 was reportedly seen off India's eastern coast near Visakhapatnam purportedly to track the K4 missile launch. 

The test was conducted a day before Prime Minister Modi will be in Pokhran to witness exercise Bharat Shakti on March 12.  During the exercise, the Army, Navy and Air Force will display prowess of indigenously manufactured defence weapons under the “Atma Nirbhar” campaign of the Modi government. “The event will demonstrate the indigenous capability of the three services through an Integrated Tri-Service Firepower and Manoeuvre Exercise for about 50 minutes,” said officials.

Tags: agni 5 missile, mission divyastra, multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle
Location: India, Odisha