The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully tested the new-generation nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni Prime from APJ Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha.
What is Agni Prime Missile?
- The ‘Agni P’ is a two-stage canisterised solid propellant ballistic missile with dual redundant navigation and guidance system.
- It is a canisterised surface-to-surface ballistic missile with a range capability between 1,000 and 2,000 km.
- Agni-P is a new generation advanced variant of the Agni class (under IGMDP – Integrated Guided Missile Development Program).
- The Agni Prime, known also as the Agni P, is a medium-range ballistic missile developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation as a successor for Agni-I and Agni-II missiles.
- The missile comes with new composites, propulsion systems, and innovative guidance and control mechanisms, besides the latest navigation systems.
- It is the sixth missile in the Agni (missile) series of a ballistic missiles.
What are Agni missiles?
- Agni class of missiles are the mainstay of India’s nuclear launch capability, which also includes the Prithvi short-range ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and fighter aircraft.
- Agni missiles are long-range, nuclear weapons capable surface to surface ballistic missiles.
- The first missile of the series, Agni-I was developed under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP) and tested in 1989.
- After its success, the Agni missile program was separated from the IGMDP upon realizing its strategic importance.
- It was designated as a special program in India’s defence budget and provided adequate funds for subsequent development. As of November 2019, the missiles in the Agni series are being inducted into service.
Other Agni missiles
- Agni I: It is a Medium Range Ballistic Missile with a Range of 700-800 km.
- Agni II: It is also a Medium Range Ballistic Missile with a Range more than 2000 km.
- Agni III: It is also an Inter-Medium Range Ballistic Missile with Range of more than 2,500 Km
- Agni IV: It is also an Inter-Medium Range Ballistic Missile with Range is more than 3,500 km and can fire from a road mobile launcher.
- Agni-V: The longest of the Agni series, an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) with a range of over 5,000 km.
- Agni- VI: The longest of the Agni series, an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) with a range of ICBM 11,000–12,000 km (Under development).
Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme
- The Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) was an Indian Ministry of Defence programme for the research and development of the comprehensive range of missiles.
- The programme was managed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Ordnance Factories Board in partnership with other Indian government political organisations. The project started in 1982–83 under the leadership of Abdul Kalam who oversaw its ending in 2008 after these strategic missiles were successfully developed.
IGMDP consist four missiles projects:
- Short range surface-to-surface missile (code-named Prithvi)
- Short range low-level surface-to-air missile (code-named Trishul)
- Medium range surface-to-air missile (code-named Akash) and
- Third-generation anti-tank missile (code-named Nag).
surface-to-Surface missile system:
- A surface-to-surface missile (SSM) or ground-to-ground missile is a missile designed to be launched from the ground or the sea and strike targets on land or at sea.
- They may be fired from hand-held or vehicle mounted devices, from fixed installations, or from a ship.
- They are often powered by a rocket engine or sometimes fired by an explosive charge, since the launching platform is typically stationary or moving slowly.
Indian Surface-to-Surface missile system:
- Agni missile
- Prithvi missile
- Shaurya missile
- Surya missile
- The US is leading in missile technology, and China is building up.
- China has given Pakistan the technology, but getting technology and really using it, and thereafter evolving and adopting a policy is totally different.
- India is also at a very advanced stage among the top three or four nations.
- India is working on Agni VI and Agni VII, which should have a much longer range.
- Pinaka rocket systems have also been developed in close coordination with the user agencies