New Delhi: Agni V: Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which has developed the missile, said, “Due to heavy lightning and rains in the region, the Agni-5 launch is postponed for safety reasons.”
The agency has got a “window period” of two days till April 20 to conduct the test firing of the missile which will help India taking a major leap forward in missile technology and military deterrent capability. Only the US, Russia, France and China possess the capability to operate an ICBM.
The three stage, solid propellant 17-metre-tall missile was to be test-fired from a mobile launcher from the Integrated Test Range (ITR).
A Notice To Airmen (NOTAM) – warning against any flight operations in the area – has already been issued by the agency till the time of test launch.
The missile will take 20 minutes to reach its target area in southern Indian Ocean. DRDO has deployed tracking devices and stations all along the route of the test flight to collect data on the missile’s trajectory.
The tracking stations will also record the speed and homing in of the missile on to the target.
The surface-to-surface Agni-V is capable of striking a range more than 5,000 km, DRDO scientists at Dhamara said, adding it could be a “game changer”. It can carry a nuclear warhead of more than one tonne.