'India all set to develop reusable rockets'



`India all set to develop reusable rockets` New Delhi: After the successful launch of Agni-5 Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), India is all set to develop reusable rockets which will combine the technologies of both ballistic and cruise missiles.

As part of plans to develop reusable ballistic missiles, Defence Research and Development Organisation will test indigenously developed scram jet engine next year, DRDO Chief VK Saraswat said in an interview to Doordarshan.

"We have propulsion technology, we have re-entry technologies, we have the technology which can take a re-entry system which will deliver a payload and have yet another re-entry system which will bring the missile back when it re-enters the atmosphere on its return journey," he said.

"We have demonstrated the performance of a scram jet engine operating at Mach six speed (six times the speed of sound)," he said.

On the range of Agni-5 missile which was scuccessfully test-fired recently off Odisha coast, the DRDO chief said with moderate modifications, "it can be extended to any range which is of our interest."

On technological capability available with the agency, he said, "DRDO has built the necessary technologies, production infrastructure and design capability for developing a booster or a sustainer... We have the capability to develop a re-entry nose cone which can withstand higher temperature and velocity."

Reacting to reports that India does not possess sufficient indigenous technology for missile guidance systems, Saraswat said Agni-5 has used a completely indigenous and high precision missile guidance system with "0.001 degrees of per hour accuracy."

On criticism that DRDO sometimes does not live up to expectations, he said the agency was as good as its counterparts in advanced countries.

"Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), F-18 and Eurofighter took similar number of years and cost wise they were three times more than what we have put in our LCA," he said.

On development of Kaveri engine, Saraswat said it too has performed well and was, "flown an IL-76 aircraft in Russia, 55 hours of successful flight... We are going to upgrade it so that it can be used in India's LCA Mark-II and future systems."

PTI