India will test-launch its Agni-V intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in its final operational configuration from Wheeler Island off Odisha by early new year.
Defence sources told Economic Times that preparations were on in full swing to launch the nuclear-capable Agni-V from its canister on a launcher truck towards December-end or early January. "There were some minor technical snags in Agni-V, which required tweaking of its internal battery and electronic configurations after its last test in January 2015," a source was quoted as saying.
The impending fourth test of Agni-V, capable of striking even the northernmost parts of China, is in itself significant. "This will be the final test of the three-stage Agni-V, which will be tested for its full range, before the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) begins its user trials," the source said. The tri-Service SFC will conduct at least two tests before the missile is produced in adequate numbers for induction.
Apart from the shorter range Prithvi and Dhanush missiles, the SFC has inducted the Agni-I, Agni-II and Agni-III missiles.