Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Top 10 facts about Agni-V
1). India will break into the exclusive ICBM club of six countries including the United States, Russia, United Kingdom, China and France once the 50-tonne Agni-V is ready for induction by 2014-2015, although some others say unless India acquires an 8,000 km range missile, it cannot become a part of this club. But DRDO scientists are sticking to their claim.
2). The Agni series of missiles, including Agni-V, is crucial for India's defence vis-a-vis China since Beijing has upped the ante in recent times by deploying missiles in Tibet Autonomous Region bordering India.
3). Tipped to be a game changer by DRDO Chief Dr VK Saraswat, Agni-V will extend India's reach all over Asia, parts of Africa and parts of Europe.
4). Once fired, it cannot be stopped. It travels faster than a bullet and can carry 1,000 kilograms of nuclear weapons. It can be launched using a special canister. Why, it can even be launched from a roadside!
5). With a range of 5,000 km, Agni-V, once validated and inducted into the armed forces after several more tests, will be India's longest-range missile to carry a nuclear warhead. It will have the capacity to carry a nuclear warhead weighing over a tonne.
6). Agni-V will give India the technological know-how to launch many nuclear warheads using the same missile.
7). Agni-V can be configured to launch small satellites and can be used later even to shoot down enemy satellites in orbits.
8). The missile can be launched only after a decision by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).
9). Seventeen metres tall, Agni-V's three-stages are powered by solid propellants. The first rocket engine takes it to a height of about 40 kilometres. The second stage pushes it to about 150 kilometres. The third stage takes it to about 300 kilometres above the Earth. The missile finally reaches a height of about 800 kilometres.
10). This will be India's first launch of a 5,000 kilometre range missile.