Advanced Agni-6 missile with multiple warheads likely by 2017

Discussion in 'Strategic Forces' started by AVERAGE INDIAN, May 8, 2013.

  1. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    Ending worldwide speculation about the futuristic Agni-6 missile, the Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO) has briefed Business Standard about the direction of India's ballistic missile development programme after the Agni-5 enters service, probably in 2015.

    DRDO chief Dr VK Saraswat, and missile programme chief Dr Avinash Chander, say the Agni-6 project has not been formally sanctioned. However, the missile's specifications and capabilities have been decided and development is proceeding apace. Once the ongoing Agni-5 programme concludes flight-testing, the defence ministry (MoD) will formally okay the Agni-6 programme and allocate funding.

    Chander says the Agni-6 will carry a massive three-tonne warhead, thrice the weight of the one-tonne warhead that Agni missiles have carried so far. This will allow each Agni-6 missile to launch several nuclear warheads -Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Warheads (MIRVs) - with each warhead striking a different target. Each warhead - called Maneuverable Reentry Vehicle (MARV) - performs evasive maneuvers while hurtling down towards its target, confusing enemy air defence missiles that are trying to destroy them mid-air.

    The DRDO is at an advanced stage of developing these warhead technologies. But the difficult challenge is building a booster rocket that can propel a three-tonne payload to targets 5000 kilometres away. This weighs almost as much as the satellite payload carried by the Indian Space Research Organisation's much larger and heavier Global Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).

    "Our ballistic missiles must be compact and road mobile, even the Agni-6 with its heavy payload. We will do this by building the first stage with composites, fitting the Agni-6 with India's first composite 40-tonne rocket motor. This is a technical challenge but we have good capability in lightweight composites," says Chander.

    The road mobile Agni-6 would also have stringent limits on its length. "It must be carried on a standard size trailer that can move from one part of the country to another, turn on our roads, cross our bridges and climb our heights. As the payload weight increases, we will require more advanced technologies to keep the missile's length constant," explains Chander.

    Coaxing higher performance from smaller rockets becomes especially important in submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), which can be no longer than 13 metres so that they can fit into the cramped confines of a submarine. Even long-range SLBMs that can fly 14,000 kilometres, like the Chinese JL-2, are built no longer than 13 metres. The DRDO faces this challenge as it develops the K-4 SLBM for the country's Arihant-class nuclear-propelled ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs).

    Eventually the Agni-6 will be no taller than the Agni-5, i.e. about 17 metres, says Chander. It will, however, be heavier and thicker - slightly over two metres - which will cater for the different shape of the MIRV payload.

    "The timeframe for developing a new missile system is about five years and the DRDO has mostly achieved this in the Agni programme," says Chander. Calculating five years from April 2012, when the Agni-5 had its debut launch, the first test of the Agni-6 could happen in 2017.

    The DRDO says the Agni-6 will have a longer range than the 5,000-kilometre Agni-5, but is not mentioning figures. "The MARVs and MIRVs will give us extended range. I will not be able to tell you how much because that is secret," Saraswat told Business Standard.

    Ballistic calculations, however, suggest that at least some of the MIRV warheads on the Agni-6 would reach at least 6,000 kilometres. In a missile that travels 5,000 kilometres, the last MIRV warhead released flies an extra 1,000 kilometres.

    Currently, the DRDO is readying for the second test next month of the Agni-5 Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile. This will be fired in the same configuration as its debut test a year ago, in order to establish the missile's reliability. A third test by end-2013 will see the missile fired from a canister.

    "We will conduct at least five-six more Agni-5 tests before the missile enters operational service. After the repeat test this month or the next, we will conduct two test firings from a canister. Then the military units that will operate the Agni-5 will conduct two-three test firings as part of the induction process. Even after induction, the users conduct test firings as part of the Strategic Forces Command training plan," says Avinash Chander.

    The Agni-5 is a three-stage, solid-fuel missile but its first stage consists of a metallic rocket motor, while the second and third stages have composite motors.

    Advanced Agni-6 missile with multiple warheads likely by 2017 | Business Standard
     
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  3. U Sun Dar

    U Sun Dar Regular Member

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    Can anyone tell.....Exact range of AGNI VI.....I read somewhere 6000 kms.....or we hide the Range?:confused:
     
  4. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    santosh_g and U Sun Dar like this.
  5. sam919

    sam919 Regular Member

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    If so, we can join the elite with USA, China, France and Russia who currently possess this kind of tech.
     
  6. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    i wnat to see this baby fired from arihant :thumb: hope they make a submarine version soon
     
  7. Keshav Murali

    Keshav Murali Back to studies :( Senior Member

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    Excellent. Then we have a deterrent against even the West. :shocked:

    Why is it needed anyway? Agni-V can hit any part of China. Will Agni-VI carry more than the 3 tonne payload, reducing range?

    If anyone who works in DRDO is seeing this,

    :yuno: make smaller missile with lesser range?
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  8. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    Because we are a nation and the world is sooo damn wide.
     
  9. Keshav Murali

    Keshav Murali Back to studies :( Senior Member

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    Who do we want to hit in the west? I don't recall any western country being friendly to the Dragon and angry with India.

    USA, maybe? 1 missile on their land and we become dust within 3 hours. (Peacekeeper with MIRV 5 Mt ot 15 Mt warheads)

    Russia? 1 Missile launched and we become dust in 2 hours (Topol-M MIRV with 15 and 25 Mt warheads, Tsar Bomba,Vladimir Putin)

    UK? 1 missile and NATO invades us after nuke strikes

    France? Same scenario as UK

    Canada? Again same scenario as UK

    Saudi Arabia? US flattens us

    Turkey? NATO flattens us

    I don't see the need for openly advertising the Agni-VI. It's good keeping the Agni-VI as backup in case we are betrayed and the NATO openly supports the Dragon.
     
  10. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    See, these technology , these weapons etc etc atleast for India is not to hit any country..
    its a good deterance.
    This is how we manufacture peace and hence keeps peace on our borders.
    Thats the nature of boom boom toys,to preserve peace and happiness and smiles..(sprinkled a bit or irony..but true)

    WHen did Noah build the arc?
    Before the rain....Before the rain....
     
  11. olivers

    olivers Regular Member

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    Well the Indian missiles and their exact range has always been you know ... Chanakyan. Agni III and Agni V were always meant to house MIRV. VC confirmed this many times after and before A IV and AV launch. What is A VI? Think trident II and a land based equivalent. RSM-56 bulva, these are the specs which match. You can also read a three choice logical tree on why Agni missiles are this heavy.

    A) Our nukes are so horrible and they are not miniaturized, therefore they need 1 tonne.
    B) Our missiles use Diwali firecracker propellents while the rest of the world uses 21st century propellents or
    C) We are working with plausible deniability both for us and our friends.

    I favor option C. Having accepted India will have Agni and SLBM's the logical conclusion is these will have a global range. Therefore to prevent denizens of the friendly powers from going into a frenzy asking for sanctions or such other measures against India complicating the relationship with India in the long run should be avoided. And India needs plausible deniability on range just incase it needs to fly under the radar of friendly powers. Capping the missile program is no longer an option for any of our friends. So there is an aura created that Pakistan is ahead of India in nukes, missiles and so on. Indian enrichment developments or missile success is played down in the western media as 5000km, 6000km targeted only on China. Even if China is the only target we need Trident II and bulva style submarine launched missiles to have a truly survivable deterrent. Operating subs in the IOR/BOB only is too much of a risk. The atlantic and pacific are fair grounds for Indian subs in the next 10 to 15 years. We need to be there as China will be there. Like it or not to deter China we need to get our nuclear subs into the vast open seas on the other side. We plan to have 12 submarines, therefore 6 to 8 will be operational in these long tours silently mulling around different parts of the world with only one objective survive a war in India and IOR and strike back. If we restrict ICBM subs to BOB or even if it's restricted to IOR 6,000 does not cut it. We need ranges in the class of Trident II and bulva. This is the current focus. We are 7 to 8 years away from fielding them if all goes well with Arihant. The subs in only one region of the world are vulnerable to interceptions and ASW aircraft. It will be infinitely more difficult for any country to take all out subs out in IOR, Pacific and Atlantic if and when we get there. So 12 is magic number India is looking at. 6 to 9 operational and on deterrent patrol all the time across the globe ready to strike the near Indian interest region ... Survival requires more than 6000. We have 5,000 with K4 or K5 i don't recall which. This if for our first boat only. Once A VI is converted into a SLBM that will be only missile we carry. Except maybe the initial batch of missiles in the first or second Arihant class ....
     
  12. kurup

    kurup Regular Member

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    They are developing a sub launched version of A6 but will be bigger than what Arihant can carry.

    [​IMG]
     
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