Agni 5

India’s nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile is called Agni-V (ICBM). The development of the Agni missiles, especially the Agni-V missiles, in India will be extensively covered in this article. a brief development history for Agni-V and a map of Abdul Kalam Island, which is home to India’s missile launch sites.

The Agni V is an intercontinental ballistic missile with a large range and nuclear capability that can hit targets up to 5,000 kilometres away. It has a more potent engine that speeds up the launch and a sophisticated navigation system that enables it to hit its targets with extreme precision. The Agni V may carry up to five warheads at once thanks to its MIRVs, or multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles.

In addition, the Agni V carries a sophisticated heat shield that helps protect its payload from extreme temperatures during flight and reentry into Earth’s atmosphere.

About Agni-V

An intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with a range of more than 5,000 km, the nuclear-capable Agni-V. Agni-V is an improvement on Agni-III and has a third stage in addition to similar first and second-stage motors. The solid-fueled Agni-V missile was initially tested by India in 2012, and it was then tested again in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2020. The Agni-V missile from India launches from a sealed canister on a road-mobile launcher, reducing the amount of time needed for launch preparation.

The defence policy of India makes use of its missile arsenal in numerous ways. It helps India’s nuclear deterrent stance against its primary adversaries, Pakistan and China, in the first place. India has a “No First Use” policy with a realistic minimum deterrence standard. India has been compelled by the latter requirement to create longer-range missiles and to expand its delivery capabilities beyond transportable land-based missiles. India is creating ship- and submarine-launched ballistic missiles for this purpose, and it has worked with Russia to create cruise missiles.

Agni-V at a Glance

ClassIntercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)
Length17.5 m
Diameter2 m
Launch weight50,000 kg
Payload1,650 kg
PropulsionThree-stage, solid propellant
Range5,000 – 8,000 km
Agni-V - Stunning Agni Missiles of India

Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP)

The Indian government launched the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) to create a wide variety of missiles. With the aim of enhancing India’s defence capabilities in terms of nuclear deterrent and conventional combat capability, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam came up with the idea.

The IGMDP, which was introduced in 1983 and was led by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), was created to produce a whole range of ballistic and cruise missiles, from short-range to long-range. This comprised guided anti-tank weaponry as well as surface-to-surface, air-to-air, and air-to-surface missiles.
The project involved 7 key DRDO laboratories that were responsible for designing, testing and producing each missile system. Ultimately, five main missile systems were developed under the IGMDP – Prithvi, Akash, Trishul, Nag, and Agni – which have become the backbone of India’s missile defence system today.

Agni Missile

Agni Missile series

Missile NameClassRange
Agni-ISRBM700 -1,200 km
Agni-IlMRBM2,000 – 3,500 km
Agni-IllIRBM3,000 – 5,000 km
Agni-IVIRBM3,500-4,000 km
Agni-VICBM5,000 – 8,000 km

Since the late 1990s, the cornerstone of India’s security strategy has been its ballistic missile defence system. The Agni missile family is a crucial component of this system and has helped India emerge as one of the region’s top nuclear powers. The Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), which gives India long-range deterrence capabilities, is a crucial part of this complex defensive network.
There are five main types in the Agni missile series, each with special qualities and abilities. The ranges of the five missiles vary depending on their payload capabilities and each one is capable of transporting nuclear bombs. While more advanced variants like Agni-V have just undergone successful testing, the series’ first test was conducted in 1989.

Agni-V Development Timeline

  • The Agni-V missile was created by India’s DRDO (Defense Research and Development Organization) starting in 2008. India’s ICBM, which resulted from the Agni-III program, was developed in cooperation between the DRDO’s Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL), and Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) in Hyderabad.
  • The missile was initially referred to by DRDO as the Agni-III+ until being renamed the Agni-V in 2010.
  • On April 19, 2012, Agni-V successfully completed its first flight test, launching from the Integrated Test Range in Odisha to a location in the Indian Ocean. Over 5,000 kilometers and 600 km of maximum altitude were covered by the Agni-V. and made the target with a few-meter precision.
  • By April 2012, DRDO had built a testing field for the Agni-canister-ejection V’s system and handed over the manufacturing of a road-mobile launcher to the industry.
  • India successfully test-launched the AGNI-V a second time on September 15, 2013, and it traveled 5,000 kilometers from Odisha to a target in the Indian Ocean.
  • This DRDO The Agni-canister V’s ejection system underwent its final ground test in the middle of 2014, and on January 31, 2015, the road-mobile, canister-launched Agni-V underwent its first flight test.
  • On December 26, 2016, Agni-V completed another successful flight test and was ready for production.
  • The canister-launched Agni-V underwent collaborative user trials in 2018 by DRDO and Strategic Forces Command (SFC), and the missile was successfully fired.
  • India’s armed forces began inducting the Agni-V missiles into its arsenal in 2019. On 27 October 2021, India once again test-fired the recently inducted Agni-V, It is the first user launch of the Agni-V missile, which was last tested in 2018 before it got inducted into the Strategic Forces Command that looks after India’s nuclear arsenal.
Agni Missile stages

Indian Missiles

Missile NameClassRangeStatus
Agni-ISRBM700 -1,200 kmOperational
Agni-IlMRBM2,000 – 3,500 kmOperational
Agni-IllIRBM3,000 – 5,000 kmOperational
Agni-IVIRBM3,500-4,000 kmIn development
Agni-VICBM5,000 – 8,000 kmIn development
BrahMosCruise Missile300 – 500 kmOperational
DhanushSRBM250 – 400 kmOperational
ExocetASCM40 -180 kmOperational
NirbhayCruise Missile800 -1,000 kmIn development
PrahaarSRBM150 kmIn development
Prithvi-ISRBM150 kmObsolete
Prithvi-llSRBM350 kmOperational
Sagarika/ShauryaSLBM700 km / 3,500 kmIn development


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