India’s Intercontinental ballistic missile, the Agni-V, will betest-fired in 2011, the Defense Research and Development Organization’schief says.
V.K. Saraswat tells AVIATION WEEK that themissile will be launched “anytime next year,” and that “our missileprograms have reached high levels of maturity in the last 15 years withthe successful launches of Prithvi, Agni and BrahMos.”
ABrahMos flight on Sept. 5 boosted the confidence of Indian missilescientists. “With the successful BrahMos launch, we achieved a majorbreakthrough in critical missile technology for strategic missions,”Saraswat said.
The DRDO chief’s confirmation of theAgni-V’s launch date comes two weeks after Indian Defense Minister A.K.Antony announced that the missile was being prepared for themuch-awaited flight.
“The missile was developed followingthe denial of technology to India. The denial has only given us anopportunity to develop a 5,000-kilometer-range missile,” Antony told arecent gathering in Hyderabad. “Our scientists, working in manycritical areas, have proved that India can overcome sanctions anddenials. When we face denial, we should take it as a God-sentopportunity and a challenge.”
The Agni-V can be laugched from multiple platforms on land and sea.
“Itwill be a three-stage, solid-fuel missile that will carry aconventional nuclear warhead,” a DRDO source said. “We are alsodeveloping multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle [MIRV]warheads for Agni missiles. The advantage is that it can carry severalnuclear warheads.”