Indian missile that could hit Beijing tested

19 April 2012 04:33 am - 20     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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A successful test flight of the missile will also strengthen India's nuclear deterrence once it comes into service by 2014-15. With a range of 5,000km (3,100 miles), the Agni-V is capable of delivering a single 1.5-ton warhead deep inside nuclear rival China's territory.

It is 17.5m-tall, solid-fuelled, has three stages and a launch weight of 50 tons. It has cost more than 2.5bn rupees ($480m; £307m) to develop. India's retaliatory, no-first use strategic deterrence is based on nuclear weapons delivered by sea, air and mobile land-based systems.

These include Agni missile variants with strike ranges from 700km to - it is anticipated with the Agni-V - more than 5,000km.

The maiden test flight of the missile, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), has been delayed beyond its original December 2011 deadline.

"Fired from a canister-launch system to provide it greater operational flexibility of being either rail- or road-launched, the Agni-V compares favourably with ICBMs in use by nuclear weapons states like Britain, China, France, Russia and the US," DRDO chief VK Saraswat said.

Briefing reporters at the recently-concluded Defexpo 2012 in Delhi, Mr Saraswat said that advanced technologies incorporated into Agni-V were "far ahead of other countries with few exceptions, like the US".

'Innovative'
 
Missiles available to other nuclear weapons states employ relatively older technology, he said.

Agni-V's innovative technologies include composite rocket motors, guidance ring-laser gyro-based inertial navigation systems, micro-navigation systems and accelerometers to measure the ICBM's acceleration and detect any change in its vehicular motion.

Composites have been extensively used to reduce the ICBM's weight. A third, miniaturised stage has been added to the Agni-III to boost its range from 3,500km to 5,000km.





DRDO scientists said many of the components of the Agni-III and Agni-IV - which were successfully test-fired over the last two years - have been incorporated into the latest missile.

Avinash Chander, director of the DRDO-run Advanced Systems Laboratory, which is closely involved in developing the Agni missiles, says engineering the Agni-V's third stage proved to be a major technological challenge.

"It (the third stage) slopes into the warhead stage and has a conical motor. So far, we have only been doing cylindrical motors and building that was difficult," Mr Chander said in October last year.

DRDO officials say a reduced payload will further enhance the Agni-V's range to beyond 5,000km.

"Agni-V will provide India with much-needed dissuasive deterrence against China which at present it lacks," said former Brigadier Arun Sahgal, joint director of the Institute of National Security Studies in Delhi.

"With Agni-V trials, India's strategic lacunae will to a large extent be overcome," he added.

India, which came off worse in its 1962 border war with China over one of the world's longest-running disputes, had claimed that fear of Beijing's burgeoning nuclear arsenal was responsible for it conducting its five underground nuclear tests in May 1998.

Concern over China's intermediate- and long-range missile capability also hastened India's indigenous programme to develop its own strategic weapons.

Indian military planners remain apprehensive over China's nuclear-capable DF21 intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) and its many variants which have ranges of 1,500km-2,250km.

These are deployed across Tibet and south-west China and are capable of striking major Indian cities, including Delhi.

India's arsenal of IRBMs, on the other hand, includes the Agni-I, Agni-II and Agni-III with ranges of between 700-800km, 2,000-2,300km and over 3,500km respectively.

The missiles are being built at Bharat Dynamics Limited in Hyderabad under the DRDO's supervision and operated by the Strategic Forces Command

Created in January 2003, the command is responsible for the management and administration of the country's nuclear weapons stockpile and is part of India's overarching Nuclear Command Authority.

The shorter-range Agni-I and II were developed with nuclear rival Pakistan in mind.

The Agni III, however, is directed at Chinese military and nuclear assets ranged in Tibet, a region of increasing strategic significance to both Delhi and Beijing. (BBC)


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  Comments - 20

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  • sam Thursday, 19 April 2012 06:07 AM

    lol..good luck

    Kopi Kade Aiya. Thursday, 19 April 2012 06:49 AM

    Agni..!! its good for your "BOLLYWOOD" Movies..!

    lal Thursday, 19 April 2012 07:45 AM

    Could have better spent this money to provide toilets to 100 million homes in India that do not have one, and still have money left to air drop 10 kg of parippu to each of them. Idiots!

    freethinker Thursday, 19 April 2012 07:53 AM

    Where are the sanctions from West? Why double standards?

    Paddy S Thursday, 19 April 2012 08:20 AM

    No threat from USA on this project? Funny!

    Asoka Jayawardane Friday, 20 April 2012 04:07 AM

    Avi gaththo aviyenma nasee.

    achtung Thursday, 19 April 2012 08:47 AM

    if India plans in someway to strike china, man the chinese retaliation is not gonna be pretty... bye bye bollywood.

    SAM_SPARROW Thursday, 19 April 2012 09:11 AM

    can you imagine how small we are now to blame others?

    Dias Thursday, 19 April 2012 08:49 AM

    People are suffering without food and water in india why not support those people withis money

    RAJU Thursday, 19 April 2012 07:14 PM

    WELDONE! CONGRATULATION YOUR POWER IS OUR POWER, KEEP IT UP.

    Gayan Thursday, 19 April 2012 07:17 PM

    India invaded pakistan. Fought with China. not to mention invaded SL many times.

    theonlooker Thursday, 19 April 2012 09:50 AM

    yep..very well said..

    azonide Thursday, 19 April 2012 10:14 AM

    The world (or the media) and the US were head over heals when N Korea launched its what ever misile, and im sure they sigh a breath of relief when it failed. But what about this. where are the condemnations by the US lead World on this. If you want a defenition for Double standards. "American allie" is the Word. Sri Lankans already know about this already. any way all the best india.

    Alex Thursday, 19 April 2012 10:37 AM

    Patriots in SL challenging the west, at least try to build this type of stuff.

    buffaloa citizen Thursday, 19 April 2012 11:01 AM

    Historically India has always used its might for self defence. It has never invaded any country though the fools in Sri Lanka expect this to happen anytime, thanks to the baila played by the leaders of these fools.

    Fusion Thursday, 19 April 2012 11:06 AM

    No double standards. NK tests are in violation of UNSC resolutions. India has no such resolution against its weapons program and importantly India is NOT a signatory to the NPT & CTBT.

    lalith Thursday, 19 April 2012 05:04 AM

    i guess there will be more chinese "developmental" projects in sl!!!

    Fusion Thursday, 19 April 2012 05:15 AM

    India could theoretically build an ICBM that could reach Washington, but avoids it for political reasons. One thing about India is, despite issues like poverty they never forgot the importance of technological advancement both Civilian and Military. In contrast, how much does SL spend on various R&D projects?

    buffaloa citizen Thursday, 19 April 2012 05:21 AM

    Congradulations. Use these weapons only to strike military targets when neccessary and dont purposefully use them to target innocent civilian populations thus getting the label of genocide and humanitarian war criminals.

    Ginna Friday, 20 April 2012 12:53 PM

    Lal,Kopi Kade Aiya, can any of you guys produce a proper syk rocket in SIRI LANKA?,you silly a.. ....s.


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