04/19/2012, 00.00
INDIA

New Delhi successfully launches "China Killer" nuclear missile

The Agni-V launched this morning at 8:05 (local time) in Orissa, reached its target in 20 minutes, a point off Indonesia. Test Director described launch as "perfect." With a range of over 5 thousand kilometers, the missile can reach Beijing and Shanghai.

Mumbai (AsiaNews / Agencies) - 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.

 

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