Bhubaneswar: India on Saturday successfully conducted the first canister-based trial of its nuclear-capable Agni-V missile, which is capable of hitting targets over 5,000 km away from a military base in Odisha, an official said.

The missile, which has the ability to hit targets deep inside China, was fired from a mobile vehicle at the Inner Wheeler Island launch site in Bhadrak district, about 200 km from Bhubaneswar.

The launch came on the day Avinash Chander, who played a key role in the missile’s development, demited office as head of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) after his tenure was cut short by 15 months.

“It is a canisterised version of the longest-range missile. It was tested for the first time from a canister. The test was successful,” test range director MVKV Prasad said.

This was the missile’s first launch from a canister which would provide the armed forces with operational flexibility to choose from where to launch the missile.

A canister launch system of the 50 tonne, 17-metre-long missile gives the forces the ability to transport it by road and rail.