Economy

Agni-V gives India long-range missile strike capability

| Updated on: Apr 19, 2012
agni-v-team

agni-v-team

BL19_AGNI

BL19_AGNI

India's Agni power got a big lift today with the successful launch of Agni-V, its nuclear capable, 5,000-km range missile that enhances its strike capability and strategic edge.

The home-grown, three stage, 50-tonne missile blasted off from a road mobile launcher from the Wheeler Island, off the coast of Odisha, at 0807 hrs IST. It rose to a high of 600 km, made a clean re-entry and hit the designated target, all in a span of 20 minutes, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), announced.

The success of Agni V, catapults India into the exclusive group of countries with expertise to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles. These include the US, Russia, France, China. It also empowers the country's Defences with the much-needed demonstrable deterrence.

It was a historic day for scientists of the DRDO, especially the missile group, Indian industry and academia, which was associated with the Agni Programme. Signs of jubilation and congratulations unfolded at the mission control, minutes after the successful accomplishment of the task. Congratulatory messages also poured in from industry, political leaders, the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, the Defence Minister, Mr A.K. Antony, to the missile scientists.

“Describing the success as a game changer, Dr V.K. Saraswat, Chief of DRDO, declared that India is now a missile power. The launch has excited the nation. It has opened up the gates for much-longer range missiles, anti-missile systems, launch satellites on demand, he said.

New page in history

Today's launch of Agni V is a new page in the history of missile development. Agni V is a 21st century missile and has propelled out technological capability into a higher plane, Dr Saraswat told Business Line over telephone from the island.

The composite rocket motors, solid propellants, navigation systems, on board computers and re-entry vehicles that have been proved, make the country totally self-reliant in the missile arena, he added.

The journey of Agni V from drawing board to launch pad and successful flight test in three years is a remarkable achievement of the entire missile team, over 60 Indian industry, a score of national labs and academic institutes and a large number of youngsters in the DRDO, Dr Saraswat, who is also Scientific Adviser to the Raksha Mantri, said.

The news of the successful launch raised a buzz across several countries, specially Pakistan, China and India's neighbours, with Web sites and media devoting news and views on the implications of India's missile programme.

The 17-metre tall, three stage, solid propellant fuelled, Agni V missile has a capacity to carry 1.5 tonne payload. All the parameters, technology and pre-designated tasks were performed to perfection said Dr Avinash Chander, Chief Controller (missiles and strategic systems), DRDO. He along with Mr V.G. Sekharan, Director, Advanced Systems Laboratory and Ms Tessy Thomas, Project Director of Agni have been instrumental in guiding the Agni programme.

The entire launch sequence was monitored, tracked by an array of stations, radars and ships on the high seas. The data will be evaluated. Agni V will have a few more launches in future, he said.

With complete production facilities being set up at the DRDO's missile complex in Hyderabad, making the Agni V missile available to the defence forces in a couple of years in possible, DRDO said.

Agni series

In the Agni series of missile, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), has developed five variants — the short range, Agni I (700 km), Agni II &IV, the intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBMs) of ranges 1,500 km and 3000 km and the long range Agni III (3,500 km).

>soma@thehindu.co.in

Published on March 12, 2018

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