In­dia’s in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal sur­faceto-sur­face bal­lis­tic mis­sile Agni-V launched once again


In­dia’s in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal sur­face-to-sur­face bal­lis­tic mis­sile Agni-V, ca­pa­ble of de­liv­er­ing nu­clear war­head with high pre­ci­sion, was suc­cess­fully launched on Septem­ber 15, 2013, in a re­peat of spec­tac­u­lar maiden launch last year.

A sym­bol of the De­fence Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion’s (DRDO) tech­no­log­i­cal ex­cel­lence and In­dia’s strength, the mis­sile took off ma­jes­ti­cally at 0850 hours from DRDO’s launch com­plex at Wheeler Is­land, off the coast of Odisha, flew on a pre­de­fined path and reached its desti­na­tion with ex­pected pre­ci­sion.

The mis­sile, pow­ered by three-stage solid rocket mo­tors, had a flaw­less, spec­tac­u­lar launch in auto mode and fol­lowed its en­tire tra­jec­tory in text­book man­ner, drop­ping the three mo­tors at pre­de­fined stages into the ocean. The ships lo­cated in mid-range and at the tar­get point tracked the ve­hi­cle and wit­nessed the fi­nal event. All the radars and elec­tro-op­ti­cal sys­tems, ship-based and those based on ground sta­tions along the path mon­i­tored the per­for­mance pa­ram­e­ters of the mis­sile and dis­played in­for­ma­tion in real time.

All the sys­tems and sub­sys­tems of the mis­sile, such as the launch sys­tem, nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem, con­trol sys­tems, rocket mo­tors, the re-en­try pack­age, etc. per­formed well. The nav­i­ga­tion sys­tems, very high ac­cu­racy ring laser gyro-based in­er­tial nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem (RINS) and the most mod­ern and ac­cu­rate mi­cro nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem (MINS) en­sured the mis­sile reached the tar­get point within a few me­tres of ac­cu­racy. The high speed on­board com­puter and fault tol­er­ant soft­ware along with ro­bust and re­li­able bus guided the mis­sile flaw­lessly.

A ma­jor mile­stone, this sec­ond suc­cess­ful test of Agni-V has demon­strated the ma­tu­rity, re­peata­bil­ity and ro­bust­ness of the sys­tem, paving the way for ini­ti­a­tion of pro­duc­tion­i­sa­tion and sub­se­quent in­duc­tion. The launch also clears the way for its can­is­ter­i­sa­tion. The Agni-V mis­sile, in its op­er­a­tional form, is de­signed to be stored and launched from the can­is­ter, en­hanc­ing its stor­age, op­er­a­tional readi­ness, trans­porta­bil­ity, re­sponse time and shelf life.

The Strate­gic Force Com­mand team along with its top brass was present dur­ing all the op­er­a­tions to get ac­quainted with the sys­tem and trained.

De­fence Min­is­ter A.K. Antony con­grat­u­lated all the sci­en­tists of DRDO and said that “DRDO sci­en­tists have made the coun­try proud”.

Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­vi­sor ( NSA) Shivshankar Menon con­grat­u­lated DRDO sci­en­tists and said that the event is a mile­stone in the long-range mis­sile era of In­dia.

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