Indian Missile Program Updates

Successful test-fire of Agni-Prime Missile

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Agni Missiles

Mains level : India's missile arsenal

A new generation nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-P (Prime) was successfully test-fired by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).

Agni-Prime Missile

  • Agni-P is a new generation advanced variant of the Agni class of missiles.
  • It is a canisterised missile with a range capability between 1,000 and 2,000 km.
  • Many advanced technologies including composites, propulsion systems, innovative guidance and control mechanisms and state-of-the-art navigation systems have been introduced.
  • The missile strengthens India’s credible deterrence capabilities.

What is the upgrade?

  • 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.

What are Agni 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, has already been tested several times and validated for induction.

An arsenal for peace

  • 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.
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