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PM Modi Praises Mission Divyastra, First Test Flight Of Agni-5 MIRV Missile

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Published on March 11, 2024 with No Comments

PM Modi Praises Mission Divyastra, First Test Flight Of Agni-5 MIRV Missile
The Agni-5 MIRV missile, developed by the defence research centre DRDO for over a decade, took its first flight today.Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced the development of “Mission Divyastra” — an indigenously developed, landmark weapons system that alters the country’s geopolitic and strategic position and significantly changes the situation in southeast Asia. The Agni-5 MIRV missile, developed by defence research centre DRDO for over a decade, took its first flight today.
The new weapon system of DRDO (Defence Research Development Organisation) has Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology, which ensures that a single missile can deploy multiple war heads and hit targets at different locations simultaneously.

The technology is currently possessed by a handful of nations and with its test, India has joined the select club, said government sources. MIRVs have been developed by the US, UK, Russia, France and China.

“Proud of our DRDO scientists for Mission Divyastra, the first flight test of indigenously developed Agni-5 missile with Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology,’ PM Modi posted on X, formerly Twitter.
President of India Ms Droupadi Murmu said, “The first flight test of Agni V under Mission Divyastra marks a very important milestone in India’s march towards greater geo-strategic role and capabilities. The state-of-the-art technology developed indigenously is a firm step in the direction of India becoming Atmanirbhar. I convey my heartiest congratulations to the Team DRDO for this major achievement. I am sure they will keep moving apace in their quest for excellence and self-reliance”.

Dr V K Saraswat, former Director General of DRDO and currently Member Science and Technology, NITI Aayog, who was deeply involved with the development of the Agni-5 missile called it a “huge force multiplier” especially since India has an abiding no-first-use policy. In that scenario, he said, “executing a punishing second strike with lethal capabilities is critical and today India has achieved that next level”.

While developing a ballistic missile is a tough ask, developing one that carries multiple warheads that can be launched in different directions is a highly challenging task.

An MIRV payload involves a single missile carrying several nuclear warheads, each programmed to hit a separate target. This means optimum use of a single missile and gives India the capability of targeting adversaries in the east and west within a 5,000-plus km radius.

To make this effective, the system is also equipped with indigenous avionics systems and high accuracy sensor packages, which ensure that the re-entry vehicles accurately reach the target points, sources said.
It is suspected that the weapons system was tested within a range of 3,550 km, owing to the announcement of a no-fly NOTAM — meaning notice to airmen — in that range.

Dr Saraswat said each “baby missile within the mother missile” — in this case Agni-5 — has its own guidance and control system. “They can get launched some 300-400 km above the main target site and can hit independent targets,” he said.

In Divyastra, the basic missile is a three-stage Agni-5 missile, but the nose cone is modified to accommodate many micro-nukes, mini-nukes and even a big thermo-nuclear weapon, he added. Each MIRV acts like a targeted tactical weapon.

Agni has been part of India’s arsenal since the 1990s. Though India has conducted multiple tests on Agni-5 over the last few years, the new technology takes the country’s second-strike capability to a whole new level, sources said.

“If one incorporates a seeker on the missile, then one can even home in on moving targets like ships since each baby missile has its own attitude and guidance control software,’ Dr Saraswat explained.Sources said the project was headed by a woman, whose identity is yet to be disclosed.

 

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