No cap on Agni missile project: India
New Delhi, Apr 20: Bouyed by the success of its long-range Agni-V ballistic missile test, India Friday said it will not "cap" its three-decade-old programme and continue to develop more missiles in the series with modern, latest technologies.
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Director General Dr. V.K. Saraswat told a press conference here a day after the successful testing of the 5,000-km-range missile that can hit targets deep inside China, including Beijing, that the nuclear-capable weapon was "a game changer" for the country.
"There is no question of capping the Agni programme," Saraswat said here, when asked if it was time to say the programme is over now that the DRDO has achieved a long-range deterrence capability to meet its threats from the immediate neighbourhood.
"Our missile development programme is based on today's, current and evolving threats. Evolving threats will continue to drive our future needs for platforms and weapons," he said, refusing to predict what could be the range of the futuristic Agni series and whether it will go beyond 10,000-km range.
However, the modern technologies such as anti-satellite, putting satellite in orbit on demand, and multiple independently targettable re-entry vehicle (MIRV) would be part of the Agni-series missiles in the future.
China has an inter-continental ballistic missile Dong Feng-31A that can reach targets 11,500-km away and it has in February 2007 proved its anti-satellite capability to hit targets in space.
The MIRV technology provides a ballistic missile to carry multiple war heads that can be directed at different targets during flight.
Clarifying that Agni-V is a long-range missile and not an inter-continental missile, Saraswat said it does not possess the MIRV capability, but future Agni missile would definitely have one and that the defence scientists were already working towards developing it.
He clarified that the future Agni missile has not been named "Agni-VI' as has been speculated in a section of the media.
For anti-satellite capability, Saraswat said Agni-V has provided India the necessary velocity and range to reach the needed altitudes.
But its all about having the guidance capability to direct the warhead towards the intended target in space and whether we want to destroy it, for which a 'kill vehicle' is needed, or just disrupt the satellite's functioning.(IANS)
Lastupdate on : Fri, 20 Apr 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 20 Apr 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 21 Apr 2012 00:00:00 IST
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