India testfires nuclear-capable Agni V intercontinental ballistic missile

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India Monday successfully testfired its long-range, nuclear-capable and surface-to-surface Agni V intercontinental ballistic missile from a military island off the coast of the eastern state of Odisha.

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the state-run Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) scientists who were behind the launch.

"Congratulations DRDO for successfully test firing Agni-V. It will enhance our strategic and deterrence capabilities," Mukherjee tweeted. "Successful test firing of Agni V makes every Indian very proud. It will add tremendous strength to our strategic defence," Modi wrote on Twitter.

Agni V, with a range of over 5,000 km, can carry a nuclear warhead of up to 1,000 kg. The solid propellant-driven missile, which is 17 metres long and weighs about 50 tonnes, is a fire-and-forget system that cannot be easily detected as it follows a ballistic trajectory.

Agni V is the fifth in the series of Agni group of missiles, which are among the country's most sophisticated weapons. Agni means "fire" in Hindi and Sanskrit languages. The first test of Agni V was conducted in April 2012, while the second was done in September 2013 and third in January 2015.

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