India planning two more tests of long-range Agni-5 missile



New Delhi: Seeking to enhance its long-range strike capabilities, India is planning to carry out two more tests of its over 5,000-km range Agni-5 ballistic missile this year after which it would be ready for operational deployment.

"We are planning to carry out two more tests of the Agni-5 missile and they are likely to be held this year after which it would be ready for induction into operational service," DRDO spokesperson Ravi Gupta said here.

India had joined the elite club of nations with such capability including the US, Russia and China when it carried out the first test of Agni-5 in April last year.

India is also planning to equip its most powerful missile with multiple warheads.

"We are working in this area. It will take time for us to develop but our work is on," DRDO Chief Dr V K Saraswat had told a news agency recently.

Known as Multiple Independently Targeted Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV), the missile is being developed to make it capable of carrying multiple warheads to destroy several targets in one go.

Asked about the plans in that regard, he had said, "Basic vehicle (missile) will remain the same. The first three stages will also remain the same and only the kill vehicle or the payload delivery system will need changes."

Terming it as a "force multiplier", the DRDO chief had said, "If I am able to do force multiplication with this... where I was using four missiles, I may use only one missile.

"So it becomes a force multiplier given the damage potential."

Comparing Agni-V missile to the best in the world, Saraswat had said that MIRV missiles are equipped with small on-board rocket motors and computerised inertial guidance system which manoeuvres warheads to several different trajectories.

PTI