Agni Missiles Fearsome Factor

August 17, 2015

Indian Express:

As a ‘Made in India’ company, India’s most expensive defence body Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has been a disaster, but for its few achievements like the Agni missiles. India as a nuclear power believes in deterrence, and the Agni V, tested successfully from the Wheeler’s Island off the Odisha coast in February 2015, is its longest range ballistic missile. Agni V, the country’s most competent strategic missile, is turning it into a missile superpower, with only the US, Russia, China and France as part of the club.

Two more of these long-range, nuclear-capable, surface-to-surface ICBMs (Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles) are being tested—promising to take the striking power to 10,000 km. What makes them even more lethal is that the missiles can be transported both by rail and road. Agni II is considered strategically as a deterrent to China than Pakistan, while Agni III took India’s nuclear deterrent doctrine to a greater distance deeper into enemy territory than the previous ones.

The Make in India factor is evident in the Agni series of missiles which uses a strap-down inertial navigation system (INS) for flight control and navigation which has domestically developed inertial sensors. The Agni I is propelled by a single-stage engine powered by solid fuel. The Agni II is powered by a two-and-a-half-stage solid propellant engine, while the Agni III and Agni IV have two-stage solid propellant engines—all made indigenously. The Chinese state-run People Daily wrote that India’s “killer” missile changes the way the world views the country’s defence arsenal and that Agni V can easily target many of China’s cities.

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