What’s in News
- India successfully tested the Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) Agni-4, which met all parameters.
- The successful test was part of routine user training launches carried out under the aegis of the Strategic Forces Command
- The Strategic Forces Command is operationally responsible for all of India’s nuclear assets. India can launch nuclear missiles from land, air and from submarines, and is one of the few countries that has the nuclear triad.
About Agni 4
- The missile, one of many in the Agni series of strategic missiles, has a range of 3,500 km- 4000 km.
- Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), it can carry a 1,000-kg payload and can go as high as 900 km.
Agni class of 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. The longest of the Agni series, Agni-V, an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) with a range of over 5,000 km.
- In the last few years, India has also operationalized its submarine-based nuclear launch capability, completing the nuclear triad.
- This is especially important given India’s No-First-Use policy while reserving the right of massive retaliation if struck with nuclear weapons first.
- Agni I
- A nuclear-capable ballistic missile, Agni 1 is the first of the five-missile Agni series launched in 1983 by the Defence Research and Development Organisation. It has a range of 700 km
- Agni II
- An intermediate-range ballistic missile, the Agni-II was first test fired in 1999. The surface-to-surface missile has a range of 2000 to 2500 km and can carry conventional or nuclear warheads.
- Agni III
- Agni III is an intermediate-range ballistic missile developed as the successor to the Agni II. It is an improvement over its previous iteration, and has a range of 3,500-5,000 km, making it capable of engaging targets deep inside neighbouring countries. It was inducted into the armed forces in June 2011, enhancing its strike capability.
- Agni IV
- Agni III was developed to strike targets within a similar range but with a significantly shorter flight time of 20 minutes. The Agni IV, which has a two-phase propulsion system is designed to carry a 1,000 kg payload.
- Agni V
- Agni is India’s first inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM), with high road mobility, fast-reaction ability and a strike range of over 5,000 km.
- Agni P
- Agni-P is a new generation advanced variant of the Agni class of missiles. It is a canisterised missile with range capability between 1,000 and 2,000 km. Agni-P has improved parameters including manoeuvring and accuracy.Canisterisation of missiles reduces the time required to launch the missile while improving its storage and mobility.
- Canister-based launch system—serves as a transporting container, a shelter to store in a ship, and gives operational flexibility.
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