India shows progress in a new nuclear precision ballistic missile

NEW DELHI, BM, ($1=74.30 Indian Rupees) – India has high hopes for security with the latest Agni-P ballistic missile, according to a statement by Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh. The reason for his speech is the test that New Delhi performed today at 10:55 IST from the island of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam off the coast of Odisha.

India shows progress in a new nuclear precision ballistic missile
Agni-P nuclear ballistic missile, photo credit: The Week

The news of the successful launch of the ballistic missile with a range of up to 200 km was officially announced by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). According to Indian military experts, Agni-P can carry nuclear warheads, but differs much from other ballistic missiles in this class, with greater maneuverability and precision in hitting the enemy target.

The new Agni-P nuclear ballistic missile is made of composite materials, modern propulsion, and radically different guidance and control mechanisms. All this means that according to the pre-specified characteristics, Agni-P has an improved navigation system.

According to a press release from the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), the test of the missile went normally, and it hit its target.

India has seven varieties of Agni-class missiles – Agni-I, Agni-II, Agni-III, Agni-IV, Agni-V, Agni-VI, and Agni-P. Although Agni-P is the latest modification of the ballistic missile series, it is not the most dangerous and most striking. According to Indian authorities, Agni-VI is expected to be the real threat.

Agni-VI is a hypersonic intercontinental ballistic missile that is currently being developed. According to previously known indicators, the missile will have a range of 11,000 – 12,000 km. The final weight is expecting to reach 70,000 kg with a missile diameter of 2 m. Indian experts say that Agni-VI will be able to carry a total of three tons of nuclear warheads that can be fired at multiple targets.

However, India is giving very contradictory signals about this project. In 2012, the government confirmed that after tests of the 5th series of Agni, New Delhi stopped the production of ballistic missiles of this class. A month later, the same government said that “this is not the case” because DRDO is working on version 6.

The information about this missile, which is scarce, is that by the end of 2026 India will have to have several Agni-VI missiles available, without specifying the exact number. Some Indian sources said that the hardware design of the rocket is on the final straight.

Today’s launch of Agni-P is proof that New Delhi will not easily give up this class of missiles. According to several military experts from the Asian region, the Agni-P may be India’s best medium-range ballistic missile that the Indians will have in service. It is also not clear for this missile the exact amount that India will produce.

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