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Scientists express happiness over successful test launch of Agni-V

New Delhi, Thu, 19 Apr 2012 ANI

New Delhi/Chennai/Wheeler Island, Apr 19 (ANI): The Indian scientific community on Thursday basked in the glory of the successful test-firing of the 5,000 km range Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Agni-V.

Chief scientist of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) that developed the missile, Dr. W Selvamurthy, said it was a significant stride in India's pursuit of credible deterrence vis-a-vis its nuclear armed neighbours.

"In terms of military capability, the deterrent capability is very very important because of our neighbourhood and also the threat perception today. So, it is a very important step in terms of strengthening our strategic defence," said Dr. Selvamurthy here.

In Chennai, the Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), K. Radhakrishnan, congratulated the DRDO scientists for the successful missile launch.

"My heartiest congratulations to all scientists of DRDO," said Dr. Radhakrishnan.

However, defence expert and strategic analyst Commodore Uday Bhaskar said India should exercise caution when compared with China as the missiles are yet to be introduced in the country's armed forces.

"It would be misleading to suggest that because of one test India has now acquired parity with China. I don't think that is a valid assessment or conclusion. India's deterrent profile will become more credible when the Agni is inducted into the Strategic Forces Command," said Commodore Bhaskar.

Earlier, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Defence Minister A K Antony had also congratulated DRDO scientists for the successful launch of the Agni-V missile.

"I congratulate all the scientific and technical personnel of the DRDO and other organisations who have worked tirelessly in our endeavour to strengthen the defence and security of our country," Dr. Singh said.

"Today's successful Agni V test launch represents another milestone in our quest to add to the credibility of our security and preparedness and to continuously explore the frontiers of science. The nation stands together in honouring the scientific community," he added.

Antony spoke to DRDO Chief Dr. V. K. Saraswat and Project Director Avinash Chander and congratulated them for the immaculate success of the Agni-V.

The launch of Agni-V was delayed on Wednesday due to inclement weather at the test range on Wheeler Island off the coast of Orissa.

The test firing is a major leap forward in missile technology and military deterrent capability for the country.

India had in November last tested the 3,500-km-range Agni-IV missile giving muscle to the country's deterrent capability against military adversaries.

Agni-V is a solid fueled intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking targets beyond 5,500 km away.

The nuclear-capable, three-stage Agni-V, about 50-tonne in weight and 17.5-metre tall, will become fully operational by 2014-2015. (ANI)

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