Bengaluru, Jan 31: Chief Dr Avinash Chander, the outgoing Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief said that he is exiting as a ‘very satisfied man' following the successful canister-style launch of surface-to-surface Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Agni-V on Saturday.
In an exclusive interview to OneIndia, Dr Chander said that he could not have asked for a better result from his team on the last day in office.
"I am extremely happy that A-V gifted me such special memories today. I am also a satisfied missile scientist today, because we could successfully test a deliverable configuration of A-V," Dr Chander said.
The top scientist, who was suddenly found not being wanted by the Modi government, said that A-V's 20-minute journey was a momentous occasion for him. "The technology challenge to launch such a massive missile from a canister is what DRDO can be really proud of now. I am also happy that India is now capable of launching any kind of missile from any platform," he said.
Giant leap in deterrence capability
"With today's mission, India has reached its full potential as a missile power. It was my dream and I am thankful to have a wonderful team who backed me. This is India's first ever ICBM launch from a canister. It is giant leap in country's deterrence capability," Dr Chander said.
He said the Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, who witnessed the launch at Wheeler Island, was thrilled to see the final result. "The high accuracy impact of a missile is what any user would dream of and today we have exhibited our capabilities to deliver a weapon exactly doing the same," Dr Chander said.
Dr Chander said that similar to earlier launches of Agni-V, the DRDO packed the gen-next technologies into the missile during Saturday's launch as well.
"A-V is a tech beast we can all be really proud of. It has set new benchmarks for India's future missions," he added.
(The writer is a seasoned aerospace and defence journalist in India. He is the Consultant Editor (Defence) with OneIndia. He tweets @writetake.)