Agni-V takes off: 10 things that make it different from India’s other missiles


Agni V, intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), has successfully been tested from a defence base off Odisha coast. The fourth experimental trial of India’s most powerful long-range nuclear capable missile is skilled enough to hit targets as far as northern China. Agni-V is billed as India’s answer to the Chinese DF-26 Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM).

According to DRDO, the missile is among the best in its class “with advanced ring-laser gyros, composite rocket motors, highly accurate micro and inertial navigation systems.”

As per the reports, Agni V has particularly been made for prevention against China. However, on Agni V’s test, Liu Weimin, spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry said that the two countries are large developing nations and are not competitors but partners. “We believe that both sides should cherish the hard-won good state of affairs at present, and work hard to uphold friendly strategic co-operation to promote joint development and make positive contributions towards maintaining peace and stability in the region,” said Weimin.

However, the state-owned China Central Television (CCTV) had listed Agni-V’s shortcomings and also reported that the missile “doesn’t pose a threat in reality.”

Let’s know how different the nuclear-capable missile is from India’s other missiles:

  1. Agni-V is said to be India’s most frightening nuclear missile since it can bring all of China and a lot more area within its cover.
  2. Agni-V’s canister-launch version makes it even deadlier since it will enable the armed forces the required flexibility to smoothly transport and fire it from anywhere in India.
  3. With 5,000 kilometres range, Agni-V has the farthest reach among all Indian missiles. The Chinese reports have however claimed that the missile has a range of around 8,000 kilometres
  4. As per the reports, Agni-V has been incorporated with advanced technologies in terms of navigation and guidance warhead and engine
  5. The nuclear-capable missile is designed to carry over 1.5 tonne warhead
  6. Agni-V is also capable of carrying “multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles”
  7. India has now joined the club of countries with ICBMs (missiles with a range of over 5,000-5,500 km) alongside the US, Russia, China, France and the UK.
  8. The first two tests were conducted in “an open configuration” in April 2012 and September 2013.
  9. The third test was conducted on January 31 in the year 2015. It was done in “a deliverable configuration”.
  10. The Agni-I, Agni-II and Agni-III missiles are mainly aimed towards prevention against Pakistan. The Agni-IV and Agni-V are particularly meant for prevention against China.