Agni – V was launched on Thursday at 9:53 A.M IST, from Abdul Kalam island. The 5000-km range missile is India’s first Inter Continental Ballistic Missile. This was the fifth successful test of the missile. With testing of Agni-5, India had become a part of the super-exclusive club of countries with ICBMs or inter-continental ballistic missiles after US, Britain, Russia, China and France.
This test will take the missile a step forward toward its eventual induction into the Strategic Forces Command (SFC). At present, Agni series missiles that India has in its armory are: Agni-1 with 700 km range, Agni-2 with 2,000 km range, Agni-3 and Agni-4 with 2,500 km to more than 3,500 km range.
The redundant Navigation systems, very high accuracy Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System (RINS) and the most modern and accurate Micro Navigation System (MINS) had ensured the missile reached the target point within few metres of accuracy. SInce accuracy of long distance missiles is an issue, this is a landmark in itself.
China and Pakistan are also expanding their arsenal
Pakistan Navy tested their indigenously developed ‘Harba’ naval cruise missile near the end of 2017. The missile is capable of hitting its target from surface to surface and ground assault.
Earlier this week, the Hong Kong–based South China Morning Post reported that the Chinese military’s official newspaper had posted images and a video of what appeared to be a test of the DF-16 or its predecessor missile, the DF-11. Though The People’s Liberation Army Daily, which is the name of the military paper, denied it but there is no smoke without fire. In November, China tested DF-17 equipped with a ‘hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV)’. DF-17 is a medium-range missile system that had a range between 1,800 and 2,500 kilometers. It is capable of carrying nuclear and conventional payloads. It may be configured to have a maneuverable reentry vehicle instead of an HGV.
It is indeed a proud moment for us for getting an entry in ICBM club. Now the world has to think twice before insinuating against us. It is noteworthy that our rivals are also expanding. China is on a different level. In order to bridge the rift, we have to improve our R&D and expand more. But we should also keep in mind issues like poverty, unemployment, health-care, etc. and plan accordingly. But at same time, the government should refrain itself from building thousand-crore statues and introspect their actions. A super-power nation is not one with powerful ‘warheads’ but it is definitely the one with powerful ‘heads’.