A year of big take-off for missiles

Discussion in 'Strategic Forces' started by Neil, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Likes Received:
    It was an incredible year for India’s missile scientists. The year 2012 was in a way a record of sorts, with the Defence scientists successfully demonstrating a wide range of missiles from the new, tactical missile, Shourya to the long range (above 5000 km) Agni-V.

    It virtually rained missiles, going by nearly two dozen launches that the developer- Defence Research and Development Organisation, the user — armed forces and component provider — Indian industry, jointly test fired to showcase the strides achieved in securing India’s Defence preparedness.


    The high point was the country breaking into the elite group of nations with long-range capability, with the launch of the Agni-V in April. The US, Russia, China, France, the UK and Israel have the knowhow to launch inter-continental ballistic missiles.

    That Agni-V can also be launched from a mobile platform. With its ability to reach Beijing and Shanghai, the development was hailed as an answer to the growing clout of China in the region. Experts say that China has a capability to launch missiles of over 10,000 km.

    The other big stride was the test firing of the submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) for the first time in July. The SLBM has been developed for the INS Arihant, the country’s nuclear submarine. This again catapults India into the exclusive club of the US, Russia, China, the UK and France with this capability.

    In all the DRDO and Strategic Forces Command of the Army tested Agni-I, Agni-III, Agni-IV, Agni-V, Shourya, Prithvi-II, Nag (anti-battle tank), BrahMos (supersonic cruise missile), Dhanush (naval version of Prithvi) and finally Astra (beyond visual range), as its launch sites in Wheeler Island and Chandipur at Sea had a busy year.


    Undoubtedly, the workhorse of India’s Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (launched in 1983), the Agni (fire) series of ballistic missiles, was the star performer of 2012. The Agni-V was the toast as it proved maturity in technology, industry contribution and in a way was a ‘game changer’.

    The Agni missile has tested a variety of indigenous technologies such as rocket motor casings, on board inertial navigation systems with GPS, homing guidance, radio frequency seeks and ring laser gyros along with the light weight and robust composite material, which will stand the country’s long-term programmes in good stead, according to Avinash Chander, Programme Director of Agni and Chief Controller R&D (missiles and strategic systems) of the DRDO.

    The development cycle (drawing board to production) of missiles has also been reduced to 5-6 years now from the 10-12 years ago. This substantially cuts down costs and shows the confidence of the Defence scientists and the industry, he said.

    The year also saw more tests of Agni-I (around 700 km) by the Army, which has been inducted into the services already. Similarly, a few more tests of Agni-III (Above 2,000 km) and Agni-IV (over 3,000 km) were also undertaken.

    In the case of Prithvi (medium range missile), the most successful missile in terms of testing and induction, its advanced, Prithvi-II and naval version-Dhanush were test fired.

    “We can now develop a missile of the required range according to the threat perception of the country,” said V.K. Saraswat, Chief of the DRDO and Scientific Adviser to the Raksha Mantri.


    The big successes of Defence scientists in a way reflected the growth in confidence levels and robustness of the domestic industry, which is a key supplier of components and systems that make the missile.

    The public sector Bharat Dynamics Ltd landed with a huge order of over Rs 5,000 crore to manufacture Akash (surface to land missile) missile in big numbers. The public sector enterprise is scouting to set up new manufacturing units to cope with the huge demand. A lot of private companies are expected to get important roles and business from the missile market.

    The BrahMos supersonic missile is a significant example of private-public partnership at a country to country level. Indian and Russian companies and research institutes have demonstrated the utility of collaborative work as the missile got inducted into the Army and getting orders from the Navy, said Sivathanu Pillai, Managing Director of the Indo-Russian company BrahMos Aerospace.

    The visit of Russian Premier Vladimir Putin is expected to give a further boost not just to this venture but also other Indo-Russian initiatives in Defence cooperation and nuclear energy.


    The country’s ambitions to have its own ballistic missile Defence shield intended to protect its vital assets from the ballistic missiles of hostile neighbours got a shot in the arm with the success of its test on November 23. Since the launch of the project in 2006, this was the eight trial of which seven have been on target.

    An interceptor missile homed in and destroyed an incoming, modified Prithvi missile at an altitude of around 15 km. The Chief of the DRDO V.K. Saraswat also declared after the success that a ballistic shied for the National Capital Region would be a reality by end of 2014. It would stop an incoming missile with a range of 2000 km.

    The country’s ambitious BMD consists of two tiered shield with a goal of intercepting incoming missiles from 5000 km. It consists of two interceptor missiles, the Prithvi Air Defence for high altitude and the Advanced Air Defence for low altitude.

    A year of big take-off for missiles | idrw.org
  3. manishhot

    manishhot Regular Member

    Dec 1, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Set to boost India's second-strike capability, new defence projects se

    The beginning of the New Year is crucial for some key defence projects which promise to boost the country's second-strike capability significantly.

    Lined up in the coming weeks are the final trial of underwater missile K-15, meant for nuclear submarine Arihant , maiden test of subsonic cruise missile Nirbhay and first flight of Limited Series Production (LSP-8) of Light Combat Aircraft Tejas.

    Sources said the final test of K-15 is expected to take place in January. Once the trials are over, the missile would be integrated with Arihant, the nuclear-powered submarine being developed at home.

    Defence scientists said the missile has performed well and its underwater launch capability is shaping up well. The last trial of the missile was conducted from a pontoon in the Bay of Bengal in December last year.

    Sources said one more test is required for the final acceptance of the system. Its development is crucial for the success of the Arihant programme, which is expected to go for sea trials soon. The harbour trials of the submarine have been completed.

    Navy Chief Admiral D.K. Joshi had said last month that the nation can expect some good news in the Arihant development process. The K-15 missile will be followed by K-4, which will have a longer range of around 3000 km.

    Another missile that is lined up for test is the sub-sonic cruise missile Nirbhay. Sources said the first trial of the missile is expected to be held this month.

    The missile has a range of 750 km and can be launched from land, sea and air. Its launch has already been delayed by three months as it was expected to take place in October 2012. The defence scientists are also hoping to fly Tejas LSP-8 this month. The Light Combat Aircraft would finally be handed over to the Indian Air force for trials.

    Sources said the LSP-8 is under production and preparations are in full swing for its first flight, which is already delayed by at least a year.

    The IAF is expected to fly Tejas during the Iron Fist exercise in February. Iron Fist will be first day and night exercise in which live firing will be practiced.

    This is the first time that Tejas will form a part of an extensive IAF drill in the Rajasthan desert. The IAF is looking to raise two squadrons of Tejas to begin with. It is hoping that the aircraft will get the second Initial Operational Clearance sometime this year, said sources.

    Another crucial system, the Astra Beyond Visual Range Airto-Air missile, was successfully tested in December under simulated environment. The missile would soon be fired from IAF's Su-30 MKI combat jet.

    Set to boost India's second-strike capability, new defence projects set for a giant leap this year : North, News - India Today
    A chauhan likes this.

Share This Page