SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK (INN)
India did not display its nuclear-capable Agni-V missiles during the Republic Day parade Monday, where US President Barack Obama was the Chief Guest.
Agni missile series always have been showcased in India’s Republic day parade right from days of Agni-TD in mid 90’s, While Media was kept in dark regarding real reasons behind why it was missing from the parade. Murmurs making rounds for last few years have been that Americans are asking India to Cap further missile developments.
Agni-V first test fired in 2012 made it to many International media reports, Dubbed China Centric missile by International Media there was still touch of uncomfortableness felt by their military planners. Officially dubbed as 5000+ range missiles it was quickly debunked by Chinese Defence Experts who dubbed it as a missile which can hit target up to 8000 km with lighter payloads. Agni-V can hit target in all of China and can cover 70% of Europe.
DRDO is already working on new Agni-VI which will be a three-stage missile which will be heavier and thicker than the Agni-V. Agni-VI officially will have a range of 6000 km but with the lighter payload will have a strike range of 8,000 km to 10,000 km. Agni-VI will be able to carry 3 tonne warheads thrice that of Agni-V which can carry only 1.1 Tonne warheads. Agni-VI will be the first missile to have the capability to carry 4 or 6 multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles [MIRV] payloads.
While debut launch of the missile likely will happen in 2017-18 time-frame according to DRDO. There will be Intense International pressure on India to go slow or stop further development of long-range missiles which will be hard to be dubbed as ” China Centric ” due to increasing range of this missile.
India quietly also tested K-4 missile which is an intermediate-range nuclear-capable submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) with range of 3500 km last year, DRDO is also working on new K-5 SLBM which will be bigger and heavier but of the same length of K-4 but also will be capable to carry MIRV payloads up to 6000km which will enter into service with Follow-up Arihant class submarines which India will be working on in near future.
DRDO already has offered Land-variant of K-4 to Strategic Forces Command which is highly mobile due to its smaller size compared to current land based version of Agni missiles. After recent successful test of Canister based Agni-V, It will be Now be interesting to see if DRDO will get Political backing on further developments of long-range missiles or focus will shift to bring improvements and refinements in current generation of long-range missiles is yet to be seen.