HYDERABAD: India's first inter-continental ballistic missile, Agni-V, with a 5000-km range, was successfully launched from Hyderabad on Sunday. With one more successful test, the missile will be ready for induction into the Army's Strategic Forces Command, India's Nuclear Command and Control Centre, said defence sources. Agni-V can carry a nuclear war-head and its range can cover China, Pakistan, Europe and some parts of Africa. It was test-fired for the first time on April 19, 2002.

For defence scientists in Hyderabad, it was time for jubilation as the missile was test launched for the sixth time. The 'mission critical' avionics for Agni V were designed and delivered by the APJ Abdul Kalam Missile Complex (earlier called RCI) in Hyderabad under project director is G Ramguru of the Advanced Systems Laboratory.

"Agni-V successfully flight tested at 09:45 hrs from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island (Wheeler Island). All radars, electro optical tracking stations and telemetry stations tracked the vehicle through the trajectory. The mission objectives have been achieved," the government said.

Speaking to TOI, a senior scientist said, "Sunday's test launch was one of the missions before Agni-V induction. It was a text-book precision launch. Every single objective was met."

Defence laboratories in Hyderabad, including the APJ Abdul Kalam Missile Complex, the Advanced Systems Laboratory and the Defence Research Development Laboratory are among the institutions that have been collaborating g on various missiles developed for the country.