India successfully test-fires nuclear capable missile Agni-IV

Published November 9, 2015
Agni-IV missile displayed during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi.—AFP/File
Agni-IV missile displayed during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi.—AFP/File

NEW DELHI: India on Monday successfully tested a weapons-capable ballistic missile Agni-IV , from A P J Abdul Kalam Island, formerly known as Wheeler Island, off Odisha coast, Times Of India reported.

The trial by the Indian Army’s Strategic Forces Command, launched the missile at 9:45 AM from a road-mobile launcher.

The missile reportedly has a strike range of 4,000 kilometres, leaving behind the older ones in the series as Agni-I had a strike range of 700-km, Agni-II had 2,000-km while Agni-III could hit a target as away as about 3,000-km.

Related: ‘Pakistan has built low-yield nuclear weapons to counter Indian aggression

The surface-to-surface Agni-IV missile is a two-stage weapon system. It is 20 metres long and weighs 17 tonnes.

The TOI report also quoted sources in India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as saying that the Agni-IV missile is equipped with 5th generation onboard computer and distributed architecture with the latest features to correct and guide itself for in-flight disturbances.

The ring laser gyro-based inertial navigation system (RINS), supported by highly reliable redundant micro navigation system (MINGS), ensures the vehicle reaches the target within two-digit accuracy.

Giving further specifications of the missile system the report said that the re-entry heat shield can withstand temperatures near the range of 4,000 degrees centigrade and makes sure the avionics function normally with inside temperature remaining less than 50 degrees centigrade.

It is pertinent to note here that the missile, before today, had undergone one failed and four successful tests over the last five years. A P J Abdul Kalam Island was formerly known as Wheeler Island and later renamed after the architect of the India's national missile development programme.

Indian forces will test their most most formidable missile, the over 5,000-km Agni-V, next year in January-February.

Also Read: US describes India as a responsible N-state

Agni-IV and Agni-V, according to the TOI report, are meant for deterrence against China.

Another concern raised by the TOI report is India's lack of an operational submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) which is required to complete its nuclear weapons triad.

Meanwhile, it is also unclear if Pakistan is any closer to the submarine based ‘assured second strike capability’ for stable deterrence, particularly at time when India has already made the moves towards it.

Also read: Pakistan has second strike capability against India

Agni, meaning “fire” in Sanskrit, is the name given to a series of rockets India developed as part of a guided missile development project launched in 1983.

While the shorter-range Agni I and II were mainly developed with traditional rival Pakistan in mind, analysts say later versions with a longer range reflect the shift in India's focus towards China.

India and China, each with a population of more than one billion, have prickly relations and a legacy of mistrust that stems from a brief but bloody border war in 1962.

India, the world's biggest arms importer, is in the midst of a $100-billion defence upgrade programme.

The new right-wing government has cleared long-delayed projects worth over $16 billion since storming to power at elections in May.

Modi has pushed for greater indigenisation of its defence industry, saying India must build up its military might to the point that no other country “dare cast an evil eye” on the South Asian nation.

A Stockholm International Peace Research Institute report issued in September, described China as the only state among the five global nuclear powers to have a “modest” increase in the size of its arsenal.

The report said that India has 90 to 100 warheads, Pakistan has 100 to 120 warheads and Israel possesses 80 warheads.

Also Read: Pakistan, India increase arsenals despite disarmament trend: report

Opinion

Law & processions
16 Oct 2021

Law & processions

It is up to the police to impose reasonable conditions on a procession.
Is the party over?
Updated 16 Oct 2021

Is the party over?

Many in PTI are concerned how they can hang on till the next elections.
The last fortress
Updated 16 Oct 2021

The last fortress

The state wants to use the social media rules to trample on the right to freedom of speech.
Reopening under Covid
15 Oct 2021

Reopening under Covid

It will be a challenge to deal with all students returning to classrooms and maintaining SOPs.

Editorial

Diminishing freedom
Updated 16 Oct 2021

Diminishing freedom

DESPITE the serious reservations of digital rights activists and tech companies, the federal government has...
16 Oct 2021

Dirty politics

IN her outburst against Prime Minister Imran Khan this week, PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz may not have taken names but...
16 Oct 2021

Decreasing emissions

THE announcement by SAPM on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam that carbon emissions in the country came down by 9pc...
No need for NAB
Updated 15 Oct 2021

No need for NAB

THE National Accountability Bureau has sent instructions to its regional bureaus to stop processing cases that fall...
Forced conversions
Updated 15 Oct 2021

Forced conversions

THE majoritarian view has once again prevailed in the matter of bringing about legislation against forced conversion...
15 Oct 2021

Transgender rights

MEMBERS of the transgender community in the country are often at the receiving end of both their families’ and...