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Take A Look At India’s Agni Missile Series, It's A Nightmare For India's Adversaries


Nov 12, 2022


Locked in a standoff in Tawang, India is in no mood to back down. China, for its part, has been keeping up with the rhetoric and warmongering. India, however, is quietly working on a deterrent. Apart from modernising the nuclear arsenal, India is developing delivery platforms that include the formidable Agni V missile. With a range of 7,000+ km, it covers the entire country of China. This Agni-5 missile is capable of reaching targets beyond a range of 7,000 kilometres with a very high degree of accuracy

Agni missile series:
The Agni missile is a family of medium- to intercontinental-range ballistic missiles developed under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme of the Defence Research and Development Organisation of India. Agni missiles are long-range, nuclear weapons-capable, surface-to-surface ballistic missiles.

India's frontline of defence:
The Agni missile family consists of long-range, surface-to-surface ballistic missiles that can carry nuclear bombs. There are three deployed variants: Agni-I, Agni-II, and Agni-III, all of which are in service with the Indian Army. Agni-IV, the fourth missile in the Agni series, successfully completed all trials in January 2017. In the past two decades, India has developed and held successful trials of the Agni-1, Agni-2, Agni III, Agni IV, and Agni V missiles.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully tested the new generation nuclear-capable ballistic missile ‘Agni P’ in 2021.

Agni-I short-range ballistic missile
The Agni-I is the shortest-range and oldest missile in the Agni family of Indian nuclear-capable missiles. It was first tested at the interim test range in Chandipur, off the coast of Orissa, India, in May 1989.

This is a two-stage solid-fuel missile that can be stored in canisters and transported by road and rail. Agni-I is used by the Strategic Force Command (SFC) of the Indian Army. The Agni-I has a range of 700-1200 kilometres, according to reports.

The Agni-I missile has a specialised navigation system that ensures it reaches the target with a high degree of accuracy and precision. Weighing 12 tons, the 15-metre-long Agni-I can carry payloads up to 1000 kg.

Agni-II medium-range ballistic missile:

After the success of Agni I, ISRO developed the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), which had four stages and used a mix of solid and liquid fuel. This development heavily inspired the Agni II missile, especially its second stage. The rocket has two stages with solid fuel. This two-stage design has been touted for its mobility and adaptability. With a 2000-3500 kilometer range, India could reach all of Pakistan and most of southeastern China.

- The Agni-II is a medium-range ballistic missile equipped with two solid fuel stages

- It was test-fired in April 1999 from the IC-4 pad.

- The nuclear-capable Agni-II was tested by a special strategic command force in May 2010.

- Agni-II is 20 metres long, one metre in diameter, and weighs approximately 18 tonnes.

Agni-III intermediate-range ballistic missile:

India’s Agni series missiles were upgraded concurrently with the country’s advancements in space technology.

Agni-III is also expected to be the world's most accurate strategic ballistic missile of its range class.

-The Agni-III was test fired in July 2006 from Wheeler Island but failed to reach its target. It was tested successfully on its second flight in 2007 and then at its third consecutive launch in 2008

- Agni-III intermediate-range ballistic missile can travel up to 3,500-5,000 kilometres.

Agni-III is a two-stage ballistic missile that can carry nuclear weapons.

- DRDO (Defense Research and Development Organization) designed

Agni-IV intermediate-range ballistic missile:

Agni-IV is the fourth missile in the Agni series, which was previously known as Agni II Prime. Agni IV bridges the gap between Agni II and Agni III. Agni-IV falls under the Strategic Forces Command (SFC), which is operationally responsible for all of India’s nuclear assets.

- It is an Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile with a range of around 4,000 km.

- Developed by: the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

- It uses a two-stage rocket engine powered by solid propellants.

- It can carry a 1,000-kg payload and can go as high as 900 km.

- It is equipped with modern and compact avionics to provide a high level of reliability.

- It is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics, a 5th generation on-board computer, and a distributed architecture.

- The most accurate Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System (RINS), supported by the highly reliable redundant Micro Navigation System (MINGS), ensures the vehicle reaches the target with two-digit accuracy.

Agni-V Intercontinental Ballistic Missile:

On December 15, 2022, India successfully tested the nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni V. This was the ninth test-firing of the Agni 5, which was first tested in 2012. The missile has a range of about 7,000 kilometres. The nuclear-capable Agni-V missile, which can even reach the northernmost parts of China with its strike range of over 7,000 km, had met all the parameters laid down for the test.

Facts About India's Agni-5 Nuclear-Capable Missile
- Agni-V can bring almost the entire Asia, including the northernmost part of China, as well as some regions in Northern and Western Europe, under its striking range.

- The Agni 5 missile is a three-stage, solid-rocket-powered missile system capable of delivering a 1.5-tonne nuclear warhead.

- Agni-V Missile is also the first missile to be launched at its maximum operational range, which exceeds 7,000 km.

- Agni-5 missile's first test was conducted in 2012; after that, India carried out many advanced feature tests of the missile

Agni Prime nuclear-capable ballistic missile:

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully tested the new generation nuclear-capable ballistic missile "Agni P" in 2021. It is the latest and sixth variant of the Agni series missiles (under the IGMDP, or Integrated Guided Missile Development Program).

The Agni Prime missile is a new-generation advanced variant of the Agni class of missiles. It is a two-stage canisterised missile with a range capability between 1000 and 2000 kilometres. Many of the earlier missiles went through stage-separation which hasn’t been used for a while now, giving a single solid missile. It’s much smaller, more compact and shows that you’re developing your missile technology. Demonstrating that you’re developing is an important part of deterrence.When you’ve got a shorter, smaller missile which is capable of hitting places like Chengdu, Sichuan and possibly Hong Kong, it adds a different layer of deterrence. Agni-P is a more modern missile within a range and regions that we’ve already covered but having a much shorter reaction time and easier to transport and other improvements makes it of a different caliber.

“Modernization brings a different type of deterrence for which an extension of range isn’t always necessary

Agni-Prime may be launched by train or road and stored for an extended period of time. It can be used to target enemy ships in the Indian Ocean.

Agni-VI Intercontinental Ballistic Missile:
While the DRDO has not officially announced it, Agni-6 is said to be in development with a much longer range ranging from 8,000 km to 12,000+ km and multi-independently targettable re-entry vehicle carrying capabilities.

In 2018, the Chairman of the Armament Research Board, DRDO, S. K. Salwan claimed that India is capable of developing an ICBM that can hit targets beyond the range of 10,000 km, alongside the Agni-VI's ground version. It will be able to launch from both submarines and land.

Agni 6 could be a three-stage solid-fuel ICBM missile that will be heavier and thicker than the Agni-V. Agni-VI will be the first missile to have the capability to carry 4 or 6 multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRV) payloads. The question of MIRV technology is tricky, as some reports suggest that India may already have tested Agni 5 with MIRV technology. DRDO or the government have made no official statement on any Indian missile capable of MIRV.

Brahmos missile:

BrahMos supersonic cruise missile is the fastest in the world. It can be launched from submarine, ships, airplanes or land.

Akash SAM:

Akash is a short range surface to air missile system that can simultaneously engage multiple targets in group mode or autonomous mode

Prithvi missile:
Prithvi missiles are indigenously produced and is the first missile to be developed under India’s prestigious IGMDP strengthens India’s nuclear deterrence.

Pralay missile

Pralay missile has a range of 150-500 kilometre and can be launched from a mobile launcher.Developed by the DRDO, the Pralay follows a Quasi Ballistic Trajectory, meaning it takes a low curved path after being launched and is capable of changing direction and range. It hit its target with high accuracy, demonstrating the efficacy of its control guidance and mission algorithms.

But what sets the Pralay apart from other tactical missiles on the market? For one, it is canisterized, meaning it can be carried in a strong metal container that holds chemicals or gases. This allows for greater mobility and the ability to deploy the missile quickly in the event of a conflict. The Pralay is also capable of carrying a variety of warheads, including high explosive preformed fragmentation, penetration come blast, and runway denial penetration submunition, making it a versatile weapon for a range of targets.

Shaurya missile:

Hypersonic weapons such as Shaurya are likely to be highly effective in taking out enemy early radars, static military installations such as airbases and command and control (C&C) facilities. Canistering missiles enables more rapid deployment, as warheads could already be mated with missiles and placed in climate-controlled tubes, preventing damage, for launch on short notice. It has a range of 750 to 1,900 km and is capable of carrying a payload of 200 to 1,000 kg.

Nag missile:
ATGM NAG has been developed by DRDO to engage highly fortified enemy tanks in day and night conditions

1.5 ton agni warhead has a yield of 250-500KN.
So it is 33x of Hiroshima.The bomb dropped over Hiroshima weighted 4,400 kg & had yield of 15 kt.

Modern warheads like W88 warhead has a weight of just 250 kg & yield of 475 kt.

An Agni-V can carry upto 6 × W88 like warheads. Net yield= 2850 kt or ~ 3 Megaton.

@SIPRA @applesauce @Beast @CivilianSupremacy
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