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   Agni-V success, can hit up to 8,000 km
China, Du Wenlong, DRDO, Agni-V, Ballistic missile, ICBM, Defence scientists

India on Thursday propelled itself into an elite club of nations with Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) technology by successfully test-firing nuclear-capable Agni-V, which covered a range of more than 5,000 km.

The significance of the success lies in the fact that Agni-V is the most formidable missile in India's arsenal, with the longest range. With this grand success, India joins the U.S., Russia, France and China, which have ICBM capability. With India's policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons, Agni-V will provide the country with depth in deterrence.

The Agni-V project as such belonged to the Advanced Systems Laboratory. Apart from executing the project, the ASL was responsible for the propulsion system of the missile. In addition, ASL scientists also worked on what is called the `heat shield during the re-entry phase of the missile'. ASL's R K Gupta is the project leader of the Agni V.

It may be mentioned that the programme director for Agni is Avinash Chander, chief controller of missile. The DRDL on its part had the job of doing the systems study for the missile, the aerodynamics study and was responsible for the structure. The total avionics for the entire missile, which is now the pride of the country, were provided by RCI. Only the missile launcher that was used was made in Pune.

The Research Centre Imarat, which provided avionics for the missile had A P J Abdul Kalam, who later went on to become the President of India, as its founder director. RCI was established to design and develop world-class, state-of-the-art technologies for reliable indigenous weapons systems. "Practically, the entire missile was developed in Hyderabad," a defence scientist said. In all the three laboratories, it is learnt that the scientists, employees and workforce total nearly 4,000.


Du Wenlong, a researcher at China's PLA Academy of Military Sciences, told the Global Times that the Agni-V "actually has the potential to reach targets 8,000 kilometers away".

Du added that "the Indian government had deliberately downplayed the missile's capability in order to avoid causing concern to other countries".

Avinash Chander, Chief Controller (Missiles and Strategic Systems), DRDO, and Programme Director, Agni-V, called it a “fantastic mission, which has achieved a range of more than 5,000 km.” The success gave India the confidence to go ahead with a larger number of missiles and longer ranges, he added.

V.G. Sekaran, Director, Advanced Systems Laboratory, Hyderabad, described the success
India Thursday test-fired the Agni-V missile that it said can accurately hit targets more than 5,000 km away. With this launch, India entered an exclusive club of nations that have this capability.

Zhang Zhaozhong, a professor with the People's Liberation Army National Defense University, told the Global Times that according to China's standard, an ICBM should have a range of at least 8,000 km.
Thu 19 Apr, 2012,10:44:34 PM
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