Saturday, March 15, 2008

India’s Missiles

The IGMDP had five parts—Agni, Prithvi, Trishul, Nag and Akash. Agni was a technology demonstrator. The moment the technology demonstration of Agni with three flights was completed it was taken out of IGMDP. The Agni I, II and III were separately sanctioned. Agni I is Pak-specific and has a 700Km range. It’s a single stage solid fuel ballistic missile. Agni II covers 2000Km and Agni III is a China specific ballistic milssile with a range of 3500Km. Both Agni 2 and 3 are two stage and all solid fuel missiles.

Agni III is not only a missile but a system for the future with which various configurations can be developed. It weighs 48.3 tons and 16.7mts long. It has a diameter of two meters and can carry nuclear warheads weighing 1.5tons over a distance of 3500Km. Agni III, like Agni II is rail mobile. The missile uses fire and forget principle. The scientists are now developing Agni IV with a range of 5500Km. Agni IV covers all the major cities of China except Beijing. Agni IV will bring all the major cities of China within its range. It will be a III stage missile with the same weight as Agni III. All the three stages will be powered by solid propellants. The missile, unlike Agni II and III, will be road mobile. All the Agni versions can carry nuclear warheads.

The Prithvi missile is a Pak-specific 350 Km shorter range N-Capable ballistic missile. It has a naval version too, called Dhanush. A modified Prithvi was used for anti-ballistic missile test also. The army has accepted the Prithvi missile.

Nag is a third generation anti-tank missile by summer 2008, Nag related work will be completed .Then the IGMDP will be over.

Trishul is a 9 Km range missile which was meant to replace the 1970s vintage Soviet made Osa short range SAM.The army used the Osa to protect its strike columns from attack helicopters and aircraft. the IAF to protect its air fields and vital installations and the navy to protect its warships at sea from aircraft and anti ship missiles. Though the DRDO is optimistic about its induction, its inordinate delay and initial failures forced India to look for the Israeli Barak. Though it was successfully tested in 2006-07, the future of Trishul is still uncertain.

Akash is a medium range surface to air missile (SAM). Akash is a state of the art multi-target handling surface to air missile system. Only three or four countries such as the US, Russia and France have developed this type of system. Akash uses solid fuel. No country except Russia uses solid fuel in tactical missiles, not even the US. Here the system can be called to be superior to the US Patriot system. With the development of Akash the Indian scientists mastered two unique technologies-multifunction phased array system integration and integration of ram-rocket propulsion, aerodynamics, structure and control. The system also has an application called weapon locating.

Astra is an air to air short range missile developed indigenously by DRDO. It is an efficient weapon released from a vital aircraft and has a striking range of 10-25 Km. India is the sole non-NATO country, except Russia to possess such a sophisticated system.

Sagarika or K-15 is a light, miniaturized and canisterised 700 Km range SLBM.It is 6.5m long and weighs about 7tons. It can carry nuclear warhead up to 600kg. It is a single stage missile powered by solid propellants. It has advanced avionics, propulsion, control and guidance and inertial navigation systems. With the launch of this missile from a submerged pontoon India has joined the select club of countries which includes Russia, the US, France, China and the UK with submarine launch capabilities.

The Indo-Russian Brahmos is the sole supersonic cruise missile in the world. With a range of 300 Km running at Mach 2.8, it can carry conventional warhead of 225 Kg. It is a versatile missile which can be deployed in warships, submarines, aircraft and land-based launchers. It can be used to target high value sea and land targets like warships, bunkers, air bases and railheads. India fired a hypersonic interceptor missile that intercepted and destroyed an incoming target missile in a direct hit over the Bay of Bengal on Dec. 6,2007. The interception took place at an altitude of 15Km, in what is called the “endo atmosphere” The “hit to kill” success catapulted India into the elite club comprising Russia, the US and Israel, all of whom have missiles that can block incoming ballistic missiles.

In November 2006, India demonstrated its, air defense capabilities against incoming missile when it shot down an “enemy” missile in the exo-atmosphere, that is 50Km above the earth. A modified Prithvi missile was used for the purpose using terminal guidance system.

Besides, India has bought 9Km range Barak anti-missile system for the navy. Each system has the capability to fire a minimum of eight interception missiles. This is a point defense system which is the first stage in acquiring a comprehensive theater missile defense system.

In the field of rocket launchers too India occupies a great position. On Feb.29, the Indian army has inducted Pinaka which can be fitted with nuclear warheads. It is a state of the art weapon for destroying or neutralizing enemy camp concentration areas, communication centers, air terminal complexes and gun or rocket locations.Besides the Russian Smerch mobile multiple rocket launcher, which carpet bombs targets 90 Km away is also with the Indian army. The army needs this for destroying targets spread over a wide area.

1 comment:

pritesh said...

i dont know abt indian missile and raws work much but thanks to u know i am now proud of our raw....were can i find more blogs of your...and did u know anything abt our hstdv programme hypersonic transportvehical

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