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With this, India joins the select group of U.S., Russia, France and China, which have Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) capability and can deploy nuclear weapons at such a great distance.
Top defence officials witnessed the launch of the missile which is hailed as a giant leap in India’s defense capabilities.
Billed as India’s most formidable and advanced strategic missile, Agni-V would be inducted into the Indian Army in a couple of years.
The surface-to-surface missile, which can carry a nuclear warhead of more than one tonne, witnessed an ‘auto launch’ on Sunday from the coast of the Eastern Indian state of Odisha.
The almost entirely Indian made missile Agni-V is capable of striking a range of more than 5000 km. It is about 17 metre long and 2 metres wide with launch weight of around 50 tonnes.
India has maintained that its nuclear weapons programme is for deterrence only, although its has not signed the non-proliferation treaty for nuclear nations.
India has in August this year announced that the Indian Navy would soon induct its first indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant, described by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as a “giant stride” in the progress of the country’s indigenous technological capabilities.