India on Sunday successfully test fired its nuclear-capable long-range ballistic missile Agni-IV. The missile was launched from complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Dr Abdul Kalam Island, earlier known as Wheeler Island, at about 8.35 am. The surface-to-surface ballastic missile if deployed in Northeast India, can cover entire China. The missile met all the objectives during the test-fire. This was the 7th trial of Agni-IV missile. The last trial of the missile was conducted on January 2, 2018.
Here some key features of Agni-IV:
The missile has a striking range of 4,000 Km.
It has two stages of solid propulsion and a payload with re-entry heat shield.
Agni-IV is equipped with modern and compact avionics to provide high level of reliability and precision.
The missile is indigenously developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
Agni-IV missile is equipped with advanced Avionics, 5th generation On Board Computer and distributed architecture.
It can correct and guide itself for in-flight disturbances.
The missile is also equipped with Ring Laser Gyro-based Inertial Navigation System (RINS), supported by highly reliable redundant Micro Navigation System (MINGS) which ensures that it hits its target with great precision.
Its length is 20 meters and launch weight 17 tonnes.
Agni-IV can withstand temperatures in the range of 4000 degrees centigrade as it has re-entry heat shield which also makes sure that the weapon functions normally under 50 degrees centigrade.
India has also varied range of ballistic Missiles like Agni-I and Agni-II missiles, Prithvi series missiles, Shaurya missile and Sagrika missile. In addition to this we have Anti-Tank Guided missile – Nag. India also possesses Akash and Astra Missiles. If we talk about cruise missiles, India possesses deadly rahmos supersonic cruise missile. BrahMos can travel at three times the speed of sound, attaining maximum speed of Mach 3.0. Nirbhaya is another cruise missile which India is looking forward to. It is still under trial phase. Once developed Nirbahaya is said to supplement the role played by BrahMos missile.
Uncertainty prevails over $500 million deal that Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Limited hopes to sign with the Indian government.
India on the other hand is trying to develop its own Anti-Tank Guided Missile, NAG 190. According to reports published in Israeli website Globes, Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) tested its anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) NAG 190 in desert conditions against two tank targets last week.
Indian defence experts believe that by the end of this year NAG will be fully developed, whereas Israeli defence experts hold different opinion. According to them It will take minimum five years for NAG to be fully operational.
According to some media reports, there has been dispute between DRDO and the Indian Army. The army wants to buy 8,000 Spike Missiles which are developed by Rafael in collaboration with an Indian company. On the other hand DRDO wants that NAG should be favoured but the army still insists on Spike missiles as they are fully operational.
India had earlier scrapped this long pending deal in November last, but during Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to India in January this year the deal is revived again.
Netanyahu is in favour of this deal. During his visit he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed $500 million Spike missile deal. In his tweet Netanyahu said, “Following the talks I had with my friend Prime Minister @NarendraModi, the Indian government has informed us that it is putting the Spike deal back on track. This is very important and there will be many more deals.”
CEO of Rafael Advanced System Yoav Har Even accompanied Netanyahu in his visit to India in January.
As quoted by Globes, An Israeli defence ministry source said, “The dialogue with the Indians is continuing all the time and lately it seems that institutions in the country are falling in line behind doing the deal with Rafael because it will be a long time before the Indian missile is operational. Clearly the Indians want to develop and manufacture everything they need and the idea that until they will have full capabilities on this subject, they will buy Israeli missiles.”
Rafael has already formed a joint venture with the Indian company Kalyani to manufacture Spike missiles in India. Plant for developing Spike missiles in India was already inaugurated in Hyderabad in 2017. Over 30 countries have purchased Spike missiles from Israel.