The surface-to-surface nuke capable Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) Agni-IV test fired off Odisha coast on Monday is the most advanced ballistic missile in its class that India has developed so far.
Here are the five things that make the missile a lethal weapon and different from other weapon systems worldwide.
1. Agni-IV is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics, composite rocket motor, fifth generation on board computer and distributed architecture which has the latest features to correct and guide itself for inflight disturbances.
2. The most accurate Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System (RINS) supported by redundant, highly reliable Micro Navigation System (MINGS), ensures high accuracy.
3. The missile incorporates several new technologies in navigation, propulsion, avionics and other areas making it different from other weapon systems in its class.
4. The re-entry heat shield is capable of withstanding high temperatures that may reach as high as 4,000 degree centigrade and above during re-entry of missile in earth’s atmosphere and makes sure that the avionics function normally, with inside temperature remaining less than 50 degree centigrade.
5. The two-stage, 20-meter long solid propelled missile can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads up to one tonne.
6. The missile can be fired from both rail and road mobile launchers within minutes while the quick reaction timing of the weapon system gives it more flexibility and wide range of operational success.
7. Compared to the Pershing missile of the US in terms of technology and capability to surprise anti-ballistic defence systems, Agni-IV has many cutting-edge technologies, which can meet global standards.
8. Agni-IV weighs less compared to its younger sibling Agni-III which has a strike range of around 3,000-km. While Agni-III is about 46 tonnes, Agni-IV is only 17 tonne.
9. Agni-IV is designed is a different manner to increase the kill efficiency along with a higher range of performance.
10. The missile can be fired from locations deeper in the Indian hinterland, which will be very difficult for the enemy to track and destroy the missile. It possesses a submarine launch capability. It would be virtually indestructible and unstoppable in times of war.
Successful launch of the missile reflected the nations’ capabilities in design, development leading to production, contemporary weapons and platforms for strengthening its deterrence and defence capabilities.