Why in News:
- India successfully test-fired indigenously-developed new generation medium-range ballistic missile Agni Prime
- Agni-P is a new generation advanced variant of the Agni class of missiles. It is a canisterised solid fuelled 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.
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.
What are ballistic missiles?
- Ballistic missile is a rocket-propelled self-guided strategic-weapons system that follows a ballistic trajectory to deliver a payload from its launch site to a predetermined target.
- Ballistic missiles can carry conventional high explosives as well as chemical, biological, or nuclear munitions.
- They can be launched from aircraft, ships, and submarines in addition to land-based silos and mobile platforms.
- Ballistic missiles are powered initially by a rocket or series of rockets in stages, but then follow an unpowered trajectory that arches upwards before descending to reach its intended target.
- Whereas, Cruise missiles are unmanned vehicles that are propelled by jet engines, much like an airplane. They can be launched from ground, air, or sea platforms.
- Cruise missiles remain within the atmosphere for the duration of their flight and can fly as low as a few meters off the ground.
Read about indigenously developed missile systems in India- https://officerspulse.com/akash-ng-and-mpatgm/