In what is seen as signifying a dramatic leap in India’s strategic capabilities, the Agni-V was successfully tested by the DRDO on 26 December 2016 from Dr Abdul Kalam Island, Odisha. The Agni-V is India’s most lethal nuclear capable inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM), with a range in excess of 5,000 km. With this range, India finally has a deterrent against China, as the missile has the range to cover the entire landmass of China from any part of India.
As per a statement by the Defence Ministry,“all the radars, tracking systems and range stations tracked and monitored the flight performance and all the mission objectives were successfully met”.This was the fourth test of Agni-V missile and the second one from a canister on a road mobile launcher. The three earlier missions were successful too.
The Agni-V is India’s first ICBM. (ICBM’s are traditionally classified as having a range of 5,500 km to 15,000 km). At present, India possesses Agni-I, a Short Range Ballistic Missile (SRBM) with a range of 700 km, the Agni-II, a Medium Range Ballistic Missile (MRBM) with a range of 2,000 km, and the Agni-III and Agni-IV, both Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles (IRBM) with ranges of 2,500 km to more than 3,500 km respectively, in its armoury of Agni missile series. The successful testfiring of the Agni-V, paves the way for user trials of the missile and its eventual induction into the Strategic Forces Command (SFC).
Agni-V is a three-stage, solid propellant surface-to-surface missile which was testfired from a mobile launcher from launch complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR).It has the advantage of higher reliability, longer shelf life, less maintenance and enhanced mobility.About 17-metre long and weighing over 50 tonnes, the missile majestically rose from the confines of its canister flawlessly and achieved all targets. As per the DRDO, the launch of the missile was enabled in a very short time frame as compared to an open launch, as this was the fourth developmental and second canisterised trial of the missile, integrated with a sophisticated mobile launcher in its deliverable configuration.
Among the missiles of Agni series, the Agni-V is the most advanced, having some new technologies incorporated with it in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine. Among these, is the very high accuracy Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System (RINS) and the most modern and accurate Micro Navigation System (MINS), which ensured the missile reached the target point within a few meters of accuracy.
MAKE IN INDIA
In a boost to Make in India in military sector, defence minister Manohar Parrikar has cleared a proposal to develop six indigenous surveillance planes for the coast guard.Hitting two birds with one stone for Make in India, the planes to be used for the project would be the C-295 transport aircraft to be built by Tata-Airbus consortium.This would help in increasing the order for the Avro aircraft replacements being built for the Indian Air Force.“The air force wants 56 planes for replacing their fleet of Avro planes and the coast guard order would take it to 62.