|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
India close to developing Agni-IV missile
December 12, 2007 17:47 IST
Last Updated: December 12, 2007 18:41 IST
India is close to developing ballistic missile Agni-IV, capable of hitting targets upto a range of 6,000 km, cthe ountry's top missile scientist Dr V K Saraswat said in Delhi on Wednesday.
He also said that the Defence Research and Development Organisation would carry out three more tests of nuclear capable 3,000 km range Agni-III missiles over the next 12 months as a part of an initiative to develop an indigenous robust nuclear deterrent.
Though Sarswat said that Agni-IV was still in design stage, DRDO officials were of the view that the first trials of the missiles which would give India an almost inter-continental reach could be held by 2010.
On Agni-III tests, the DRDO official said the second trial of the missile would be done by June 2008 and more tests hopefully in another nine months to a year.
Agni-III, the indigenously developed two-stage all-solid fuel, 16-metre-long missile was first successfully test-fired in April 2007, after initial test failure.
The missile, with a range of 3,000 km and capacity to carry a nuclear or conventional payload of 1.5 tonnes will give India the capability to reach remote Chinese mainland cities of Beijing [Images] and Shanghai.
The three tests of the missile are to validate it for induction by 2009, DRDO sources said.
Agni-III according to experts is the missile with the longest reach in South Asia and more powerful than any missile in Pakistan's arsenal. However, China has missiles with a longer reach.