Thursday, 19 April 2012

After the successful test-fire of Agni-5, India now looks towards Agni 6 with even longer target range

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: After the successful test-fire of Agni-5, India
now looks towards Agni 6 with even longer target range. Though the
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which develops
and manufactures missiles for Indian armed forces, has not made an
official statement on the new Agni series, it has announced its
intention to work on missiles with a target range of 10,000 km.

Technically, Agni-5 is an intermediate range ballistic missile and
falls short of about 1000 to 2000 km to be qualified for the
intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tag. Nevertheless, Agni-5 is
a quasi-ICBM as it can hit targets in other continents too depending
on the place in India from where it is fired.

Agni-5 can hit Australia if it is fired from the Andamans, hit most of
Europe and Moscow when fired from Delhi or Kashmir, and parts of
Africa if it is launched from Mumbai or Gujarat.

Agni-5 has a range of 5,500 km and the DRDO plans to build missiles
that are truly ICBM in range with 10,000 km-plus target capability.
Incidentally, China has missiles with a ranger longer than 13,000 km.

“We go from here to many other missiles which will have capability for
MIRV (Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle), for
anti-satellite system, which will also be built using this technology
for launching micro, mini and nano satellite to meet the requirement
of the armed forces on very, very short notice,” Dr VK Saraswat, head
of DRDO, said.

Agni-5 can carry nuclear warheads up to three in number. The next
missile series may carry even more, up to 10, capable of hitting
multiple targets spread across simultaneously.

The success of Agni-5 has raised the spirits of Indian defence
scientists and engineers to move ahead with the planned next
generation missile series that can cover twice the distance of the
Agni-5.

DRDO is also working on integrating Agni-5 with submarine so that the
missile can be launched from the underwater. It will not only increase
the target range but also give the advantage of mobility without being
detected.

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