New Delhi: India successfully test-fired its most potent indigenously developed intercontinental surface-to-surface nuclear capable ballistic missile Agni-V on Monday. The nuclear-capable, inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBMs) Agni-V with a range of over 5,000 km covering whole of China, was test-fired from Abdul Kalam island off Odisha coast.
According to PTI, the three-stage, solid propellant surface-to-surface missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher from launch complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at about 1105 hours, DRDO sources said.
Defence sources said that the successful test-firing on Monday will pave the way for user trial of the most potent Indian missile and its eventual induction into the strategic forces command (SFC).
Among the missiles of Agni series, the latest Agni-V is the most advanced having some new technologies incorporated with it in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine, the sources said.
Named after one of the five elements of nature, Agni series are long range, surface-to-surface nuclear capable ballistic missiles. The first missile of the series, Agni-I was developed under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program and tested in 1989.
Let's take a look at where does India's Agni-V stand in comparison with the ICBMs of other countries in the world:
R-36M (SS-18 Satan) missile is the world's longest range of ICBMs. Russia intends to replace the R-36 with a new heavy ICBM, the RS-28 Sarmat. Its throw-weight is 8,800 kg, making the Soviet R-36 the world's heaviest ICBM in comparison with the heaviest US ICBM (the retired LGM-118 Peacekeeper, that carried 10 warheads of 300 kt each) which had less than a half of this at 4,000 kg. It has a strike range of 16,000 kilometers.
Other active ICBMs include: UR-100N 15A30 / SS-19 Stiletto
RT-2PM Topol / 15Zh58 / SS-25 Sickle
RT-2PM2 Topol-M / SS-27 / RS12M1 / RS12M2
R-29R SS-N-18 Stingray
R-29RK SS-N-18 Stingray Mod 2
R-29RL MIRV-equipped/SS-N-18 Stingray Mod 3
R-29RM MIRV-equipped/SS-N-23 Skiff
R-29RMU Sineva MIRV-equipped/SS-N-23 Sineva mode 2
R-29RMU2 MIRV-equipped/SS-N-23 Liner
RSM-56 Bulava MIRV-equipped/SS-NX-30
The LGM-30 Minuteman is a land-based ICBM, in service with the Air Force Global Strike Command. As of 2016, the LGM-30G Minuteman III version[a] is the only land-based ICBM in service in the United States. It has an operational range of 13000 km but the exact range is classified.
Other ICBM include:
UGM-133 Trident II submarine-launched ballistic missile
China has the Dongfeng or 'East Wind' series of ICBMs which are also known as 'DF missiles'. These are a family of short, medium, intermediate-range and intercontinental ballistic missiles. DF 5A is China's longest range ICBM and is capable of striking targets within the range of 13,000 kilometers. The DF series are are land-based ICBMs.
List of ICBMs include:
DF-3 (CSS-3): Road mobile, 4,000-5,000 km
DF-4 (CSS-3): 1975, silo-based, 5,500-7,000 km
DF-5, DF-5A, and DF-5B (CSS-4): silo based, (1981) 13,000- (1983) 15,000 km, MIRV - 3 to 8
DF-31 (CSS-9): 2006, road mobile, 7,250-8,000 km range.
DF-31A: 2007, road-mobile, 11,270 km, MIRV - 3
DF-31B: 2015, road-mobile, unknown range and MIRV capability
DF-41 (CSS-X-10): 2010, road-mobile, 12,000-15,000 km MIRV - up to 10
Jericho III is a road mobile ICBM which entered service in 2008. It is a three-stage solid propellant missile with a payload of 1,000 to 1,300 kg with a range of 4,800 to 11,500 km. An upgraded version of the Jericho III was successfully test fired in November, 2011 by Israel.
The M51 SLBM is a submarine-launched ballistic missile deployed with the French Navy. It was inducted into service first in 2010. It has an operational range of about 8,000-10,000 km. France only deploys submarine-launched ICBMs, with all land based IRBMs decommissioned.
Despite its tall claims, the longest range missile in Pakistan happens to be Shaheen-III ballistic missile. It has an operational range of 2,750 km which was test fired for the first time by military service on March 9, 2015.