DRDO successfully tests ballistic missile ‘Agni Prime’

Context: The new generation ballistic missile ‘Agni Prime’ was successfully flight-tested by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) from Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha.

Agni series of missiles

  • The Agni series of missiles is a family of long-range, surface-to-surface ballistic missiles that can carry nuclear bombs.
  • Developed by: Defence Research and Development Organisation
  • There are currently six operational missiles in the Agni series: Agni-I, Agni-II, Agni-III, Agni-IV, Agni-V, and Agni-Prime and one missile is under development (Agni-VI). Each missile has different ranges and capabilities.

1. Agni-I

  • Agni-I is the shortest-range and oldest missile in the Agni family of Indian nuclear-capable missiles. It was first tested at the Chandipur test range, off the coast of Odisha in 1989.
  • It is a two-stage solid-fuel missile that can be stored in canisters and transported by road and rail.
  • Range: 700 km
  • The missile has a specialised navigation system that ensures it reaches the target with a high degree of accuracy and precision.
  • Agni-I is used by the Strategic Force Command (SFC) of the Indian Army. 

2. Agni-II

  • The Agni-II is a medium-range ballistic missile equipped with two solid fuel stages.
  • Range: 2000-2500 km
  • They are said to be a component of “credible deterrence” against China and Pakistan.

3. Agni-III

  • Agni-III is a two-stage ballistic missile that can carry nuclear weapons.
  • Range: 3500 km

4. Agni-IV

  • It is an Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile which uses a two-stage rocket engine powered by solid propellants.
  • Range: 4000 km 
  • It is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics, an accurate Ring Laser Gyro-based Inertial Navigation System, supported by the highly reliable redundant Micro Navigation System for high precision. 

5. Agni-V

  • The Agni 5 is the first of its kind inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) of India. 
  • It is a three-stage solid-rocket-powered missile system capable of delivering a 1.5-tonne nuclear warhead.
  • Range: exceeding 5000 km
  • Agni-V can bring almost the entire Asia, including the northernmost part of China, as well as some regions in Europe, under its striking range.
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6. Agni-P

  • The Agni Prime missile is a new-generation advanced variant of the Agni class of missiles.
  • The two-stage canisterised ballistic missile has a range between 1000 and 2000 kilometres.
  • It is India’s first ‘declared’ MIRV (Multiple Independently-targetable Reentry Vehicles) missiles, and it is 50% lighter than Agni-III.
  • Agni-Prime may be launched from train and road and stored for an extended period. It can be used to target enemy ships in the Indian Ocean.

7. Agni-VI

  • Agni-VI is a three-stage solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile in the early phases of development in India.
  • It will be able to launch from both submarines and land and carry independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRV) payloads. 
  • Range: 8000-10000 km 

Practice MCQ:

Q. Consider the following statements:

1. The Agni missile is a series of nuclear-capable surface-to-air ballistic missile systems.

2. The missile is propelled by a cryogenic hybrid rocket engine system.

3. It is equipped with a special navigation system to ensure precision targeting.

How many of the statements given above are correct?

(a) Only one

(b) Only two

(c) All three

(d) None

Scroll down for answer










Answer: (a) [Statement 3 is correct]

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