New Delhi: Notwithstanding international reactions and pressures, the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) is said to be developing the sixth in its series of Agni missiles that would be capable of carrying multiple warheads.
Confirming the development, DRDO chief V K Saraswat said, “India is developing Agni VI missile capable of carrying multiple warheads,”
The DRDO sources also confirmed that apex defence research body will soon begin the developmental trial of Agni-VI missile.
A top scientist from DRDO had earlier said, “We have started working on the multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles version. Agni-VI missiles will carry four or six warheads depending upon their weight.”
The government hasn’t yet given a green light to the project, although the DRDO has already done all calculations and started working on the engineering part.
Sources claim that the new generation Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Agni-VI will have a strike range of 8,000 km to 10,000 km.
DRDO has also reportedly stated the drawing and designing work of the most advanced missile.
"It will be a three-stage missile and taller than the Agni-V. The design is just taking shape and other sub systems are under development. If everything goes as per the programme, the missile will be ready by mid 2014," said the source.
A senior scientist was quoted as saying that unlike the bulky Agni-III, the new generation Agni-VI missile will be more trendy and sleek, so that it can be easily carried to any place and deployed as and when required.
While the length of the missile would be reportedly around 40 meters as against Agni-V’s 17.5 meter, its diameter will be 1.1 meter, which is almost half of Agni-V. The missile’s launch weight would be around 55 tonne.
The ICBM Agni-VI is said to be the latest and most advanced version among the Agni series of missiles. It will have the capability to be launched from submarine and from land-based launchers. The DRDO is also working on integrating Agni-V with submarine.
Importantly, the DRDO developed Agni-VI missile will be able to carry more number of warheads than any other versions. While Agni-V can carry up to three nuclear warheads, sources claim that Agni-VI can carry even up to 10 nuclear warheads, capable of hitting multiple targets simultaneously.
With Agency Inputs
First Published: Friday, February 08, 2013, 12:26