Published: Thu, December 29, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

MIRVs to Make India's 'Agni' ICBM More Potent

The Agni-5 missile, which means "Fire" in Sanskrit, was sacked off from the Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast and is India's most potent long-range nuclear capable weapon.

This was the fourth successful test of the Agni-V surface-to-surface Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM).

"All the test parameters of the missile, which was tested for its full range, were successfully achieved".

The missiles are among India's most sophisticated weapons. Just $5 a month. "It will add tremendous strength to our strategic defence", said Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailing the team of scientists behind the indigenously developed system.

Indian leaders welcomed the successful test of the Agni, which means "fire" in Hindi and Sanskrit. As my colleague Franz-Stefan Gady explained in the Diplomat, the previous three tests of the Agni-V have had important distinctions.

"In restructuring the nuclear order, many Indian analysts believe the Agni-V may induce a more stable relationship with Beijing, although for a truly effective deterrent, they believe that India will have to further develop both its conventional armed forces and possibly a second-strike capability", Jane's says.

In April 2012 and September 2013, the ICBM was tested in "open configuration", and a test previous year in January featured its launch from a hermetically sealed canister on a road-mobile transporter erector launcher in "deliverable configuration".

The Agni 5 has been developed keeping China in mind as its ambit covers most parts of that country.

The first one was launched in 2012. Experts say that proven ICBM capability now exists only with the five major powers - the US, Russia, France, the United Kingdom and China. "Thus India enters the exclusive intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) club".

The very high accuracy Ring Laser Gyro-based Inertial Navigation System (RINS) and the most modern and accurate Micro Navigation System (MINS) had ensured the missile reached the target point within few meters of accuracy, DRDO officials said.

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