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Agni-5 launch is a major milestone: Antony

The 5,000 km range Agni-5 was launched from a test range at Wheeler Island off the coast of Odisha

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Defence Minister A K Antony today described the maiden test flight of Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Agni-5 as an "immaculate success" and a "major milestone".

"The nation stands tall today. We have joined the elite club of nations (to possess the ICBM capability)," Antony told the DRDO Chief Dr V K Saraswat on phone after the test flight of the missile was declared successful today.

"The immaculate success of the Agni-5 is a major milestone in the country's missile research and development programme," he said.

The about 5,000 km range Agni-5 was launched from a test range at Wheeler Island off the coast of Odisha at 0807 hours and took 15 minutes to reach its target in the Southern Indian Ocean.

The missile achieved all the mission parameters and has turned out to be a huge success, Defence Ministry officials said.

The launch was cancelled last night due to bad weather and a spate of heavy lightning in the test range.

Antony also spoke to the Agni-5 project director, Dr Avinash Chander, and congratulated his entire team for their hard work and dedication.

DRDO took four years to develop the missile.

In his conversation with Dr Saraswat and Dr Chander, Antony told them that the nation is proud of its defence scientists and recalled the contributions made by former DRDO chiefs, specially Dr M Natarajan, a brain behind success of various projects such as MBT Arjun and pioneering efforts in LCA Tejas and Pinaka MBRL projects.

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First Published: Thu, April 19 2012. 12:40 IST