Multiple Independently Targetable Reentry Vehicles (MIRVs)

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(Indian) Agni missile to get multiple warheads



Agni missile to get multiple warheads

Ajai Shukla / Hyderabad January 28, 2008

If the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre is the heart of India’s nuclear deterrent, the Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL) in Hyderabad is its limbs and sinews.

The ASL Director, Avinash Chander, takes us through a spotless assembly room, where technicians are bolting sensitive instruments into the nose of a giant Agni-3 missile. It is eerie; before long, this very missile will roar off a launch pad on Wheeler’s Island in Orissa.

It will travel 350 km above the earth, re-enter the atmosphere at a speed of 5 kilometers per second, experiencing temperatures of 3000 degrees centigrade.

But the scientists here are cheerfully confident of repeating last April’s success, and proving the missile’s ability to deliver a one-and-a-half-ton nuclear bomb to within 100 metres of a target 3000 kilometers away.

And that is routine stuff, compared to what India’s Chief Controller of Missiles and Strategic Systems (CC-MSS), Dr VK Saraswat, has divulged to Business Standard.

He says that ASL is now working on new warhead technologies, which will equip the Agni-3 and all future missiles. The new warheads (usually nuclear bombs) will be capable of sneaking through enemy anti-ballistic missile (ABM) defences, fooling enemy radars and dodging enemy missiles.

The Agni’s new warheads, says the DRDO, will include five cutting-edge technologies:

They will be multiple warheads (Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicles, or MIRVs), with each missile delivering several warheads at the same, or even different, targets. Decoy warheads, which will be fired alongside the genuine warheads, so that enemy’s missiles are wasted in attacking decoys, rather than the real warheads. Manoeuvring warheads, which will weave through the atmosphere, dodging enemy missiles that are fired at it. Stealth technologies to make the warheads invisible to enemy radars. Changing warheads’ thermal signatures, to confuse the enemy’s infrared seekers.

The decision to go in for enhanced warhead capabilities stems from growing ABM capabilities with many countries, including India, which has already conducted two successful ABM tests in Nov 2006 and Dec 2007, and plans a comprehensive two-stage ABM test this June.

Dr Saraswat says, “As we are developing missile defences, other countries are also doing that. I’m sure our immediate adversaries will also try, or they will acquire, so our future missiles should counter the threat of interception by anti-missile defences.”

The DRDO is already working on the technologies for these new systems, even though government sanction has not been formally taken.

Dr Saraswat says that, “The government sanction for that is just coming, but practically you can say it is received, because we have been asked to go ahead and the work is already on.”

By 2015-2020, according to current planning, India’s missile force will consist mainly of Agni-3 and Agni-4 missiles, all of them equipped with new-generation warheads.

The 5000-km range Agni-4 is also referred to as the Agni-3+, because it is almost identical in technology to the Agni-3. Its extra range comes merely from reducing its weight by making its rockets from composite materials, rather than the maraging steel, which is presently used. The Agni-4 is slated for its first flight trials in 2009.

The failure of the first Agni-3 flight test in July 2006 is now a distant memory. Avinash Chander is confident that, after two successful tests this year, an army unit will be equipped by 2009 with operational Agni-3 missiles.

The officers and jawans will soon move to Hyderabad, and learn to prepare and launch the missile. The army already has two Agni units: one equipped with 700-km Agni-1 missiles, the other with the 2000-km Agni-2.

The new Agni-3 missiles will all be assembled here in ASL. Unlike every other weapon system, there is no series production line for Agni missiles. Instead, selected Indian partners manufacture individual parts of the missile, which are then integrated in ASL and handed over to the army. Avinash Chander points out that the missile is 100% indigenous, with most of it produced by private industry.

The ASL Director says, “Agni has funded industry to create that infrastructure, so that we get the best of products. We are funding seed capital where necessary, and the money is recovered from the supplies that are made. With infrastructure costs so high, and the production numbers being limited, we invest... and ask the industry to manage the product.”
 

A.V.

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this is the news i was waiting for i seriously wanted MIRV technology to be included in the indian ballistic program its the next step after the BMD ,the main aim would be to chalk out the time-frame and achieve results within that period thats very important from now on..... congrats and best of luck to the team
 

Known_Unknown

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Finally. Let's hope they're successful and they start making longer range missiles soon. I'd like to see the Indian army field an ICBM force tipped with MIRVs in the next 10 years.
 
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Indian Agni missiles deployed in tunnels on Chinese border | Frontier India Strategic and Defence - News, Analysis, Opinion - Aviation, Military, Commodity, Energy, Transportation, Conflict, Environment, Intelligence, Internal Security

Indian Agni missiles deployed in tunnels on Chinese border
November 18th, 2008 | email this | digg it
Posted by P. Chacko Joseph


India has built atleast 2 tunnels in mountains for storage of Agni Intermediate Range Ballastic Missile (IRBM). It was revealed by Mr. Bharat Karnad, who released his book “India’s Nuclear Policy” in Mumbai yesterday. He said that India is building more such facilities. Such tunnels will help India’s second strike capability, as; the Chinese Thermo Nuclear weapons cannot vaporize mountains.

Mr. Karnad explaind that it has been done to offset the deployments of Chinese IRBM”s in Chinese occupied Tibet. Mr. Karnad also outlined some scenarios when India and China might actually fight a war and the nuclear weapons might be used. One of the foremost reasons could be the Chinese plans to build a dam and divert water from Yarlung Zangbo (Brahmaputra) to the Yellow river. He said that China has already proceeded by the civil works. In a second scenario, he said, the new generation Tibetians who are very motivated, would launch an armed struggle against Chinese Imperialist. Another important fact he said was that India and China are already engaged in a battle to secure natural resources, even as far as Ecuador.

Bharat Karnad said that the weakest point of the Nuclear Chain of command was the will of the government to launch retaliatory strike. He said this was told to him by a retired Indian Army General. While Bharat karnad was unsure of current governments will, he and other speakers were unanimous that eventually the decision will come.

I have difference of opinion with some of the points made by Mr. Karnad. He mentions that the MiG-23 was purchased by IAF when they were given choice of purchasing TU-22M. MiG-23 was purchased was a knee jerk reaction to purchase of F-16’s by Pakistan Air Force. But the general observation of the lack of foresight by the Indian Air Force to build up capabilities against Chinese is agreeable. He also mentioned that India had put the ICBM development in back burner because of lack of resources. My point of view is different. I assume that India is actually building ICBM capabilities in the DRDO’s Advanced Systems laboratory (ASL). ASL does not seem to have a publicly defined mandate. Mr. Karnad says that India is leasing Akulas and it will improve the second strike capability. I just wonder which Indian missile can be fired from it. Mr. Karnad also revealed that India is negotiating for purchase of TU-160 Black Jacks from Russia. He could be right; Russian Air Force did display Tu-160s with their capability to get their job done over Indian Ocean during Indo-Russian Naval Exercises (INDRA).

I would also like to add some vital comments by some good speakers present at the book launch. Dr. P.K. Iyengar, former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission made a point that, the Indian nuclear program was about weaponisation right from the start. He observed that, Nasser, Nehru and Tito, the three founders of Non- Alignment Movement (NAM) had agreed that if NAM has to be heard, it needs nuclear weapons. While Apsara reactor was established to get hands on Graphite machining and Cirrus was for extracting Plutonium. Dr. Iyengar was not at his verbal best on his opposition to India-US civil nuclear deal. Dr. Iyengar also recounted an incident that where he had asked the Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi for nuclear test. But Rajiv Gandhi responded by saying that he is putting a note to UN general assembly for disarmament.

Vice Admiral Madanjit Singh (Retd.) outlined the structure of the Indian nuclear command. He said that there was a National Commission (or Committee, I didn’t get that right). Then Executive Committee. These both are manned by civilians. Then the decision goes to another civil (DRDO and AEC) and military group who would translate the decisions into reality. Vice Admiral Madanjit also outlined the prospects of the Indian Nuclear submarine (ATV) building costs, costs of operation that includes the decision where would the ATV be berthed after it comes back from sea.

Ambassador Prakash Shah, IFS (Retd.) revealed that India signed Chemical Weapons ban (CWC) with the pre-condition that infamous Australia Group will be dissolved in future.

Dr. A.N. Prasad, former Director, BARC turned out to be the terrific speaker. He managed to come out with some pointed inferences, while I was wondering what he would speak since everybody else has spoken everything. He said that Thorium is the third stage but what about natural Uranium right now? He said that Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha had the vision to start extracting uranium right in 1960 with the uranium in Indian ore of just .07% (700 grams per ton). Those days, the world was operating 2-3% uranium content mines. Then he said that India lost focus and is now realizing the mistake of not continuing to build up on new mines and processing facility. He said that if the Indians would have concentrated on various ways of extracting uranium, we could have found alternative source like the Japanese have found a method of extracting uranium from sea water. One major point he brought out was that when the decision to build the nuclear submarine in 1970’s, the choice of the fuel was enriched uranium and not plutonium. India did not posses the facilities to enrich uranium but subsequently built it up.
 
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you are right Pintu it would be repitious to make AGNI 4 since we already have an IRBM with AGNI 3 so we are jumping straight to AGNI V an ICBM to be tested in 2010.
 

Pintu

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A very great link , F-14, thanks for that. However, the page was not updated for long time.

Till a fascinating link.

Regards
 

F-14

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Gee thanks pintu
 
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The Hindu : Opinion / Editorials : India’s latest strategic weapon



India’s latest strategic weapon




With the flawless flight of Agni-III on Wednesday, a powerful new weapon — and one that can be built upon in the years to come — is practically ready to enter India’s strategic arsenal. While Agni-I can reach places 700 km away and Agni-II can take its warhead some 2,000 km, the all-solid, two-stage Agni-III missile has a range of over 3,500 km. Thus, the new missile will give the country’s strategic forces the ability to strike well beyond the imme diate neighbourhood. Moreover, adding a small third stage to the Agni-III configuration would produce a missile with a range of 5,000 km or more. Given DRDO’s proven solid propulsion capabilities, this should pose no major problem. Indeed, senior officials of the Defence Research and Development Organisation have stated that design work on Agni-IV has begun. It is noteworthy that Agni-III and its future variants, with a diameter of two metres, will be the first Indian missiles having the potential to be equipped with Multiple Independently-Targetable Re-entry Vehicles (MIRV). A single missile with MIRV can carry several nuclear warheads, each of which can target a different place. However, unlike the addition of a third stage, creating MIRV capability could pose significant technological challenges, especially in terms of reducing the size and weight of the warheads.

Across the border, Pakistan has been repeatedly testing Shaheen-II, its missile with the longest range that can strike much of India. Last month, the missile was fired twice in a space of three days. China, meanwhile, is in the process of modernising its strategic forces and switching from liquid-fuelled ballistic missiles to solid-propellant ones that can be launched quickly. Its latest submarine-launched ballistic missile, the JL-2, and the land-based variant of the missile, the DF-31, could soon be operationally deployed. A study published last year by analysts at the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bangalore indicated that the JL-2/DF-31, with a diameter of two metres, was in fact a three-stage missile with MIRV capability. The missile’s three warheads might be arranged around a small third stage with a diameter of about one metre. They estimated that the missile in its MIRV configuration could have a range of about 8,000 km. With just a single warhead, the JL-2/DF-31’s range would increase to 12,000-14,000 km. Fortunately, all this activity on the missile front has not dampened overtures of friendship and efforts to reduce sources of tension between India and its nuclear-armed neighbours. Rather, it reflects a strategic mindset that seeks to augment military capability as a way of keeping the peace
 

roma

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way to go: these scientist from the drdo need to be rewarded with more resources, both financial and laboratory plus access to military equipment .. The development of missile defence is recognised internationally, especially russia, usa and israel as the backbone of the defence system and with china misbehaving at the moment the indian govt should lose no time in getting ours into a strong detrerent mode.
IN particular i remember having read more than a year ago that india was the only country to launch a space bound missile or raocket with ten satellites being propulsed from it , so we have the capability of one missile carrying ten thermonuclear warheads; something they should be developing if not already ( i would think so ) and something to give our infamous north-eastern neighbour to consider carefully before trying any monkey tricks ,
 

Yusuf

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Roma,
carrying 10 satellites on a launch vehicle is different from MIRVs.
One has been achieved by India, waiting for the testing of MIRVs now. That would be a major leap wrt to Pakistan and a match for the Chinese in terms of technology.
 

proud_hindustani

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Roma,
carrying 10 satellites on a launch vehicle is different from MIRVs.
One has been achieved by India, waiting for the testing of MIRVs now. That would be a major leap wrt to Pakistan and a match for the Chinese in terms of technology.
Pakistan always compete with India. If he sees India getting something new, he raises his ambition to get what India has.

Pakistan has been wanting a MIRV technology for quite long time.
 

RPK

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As of now what are the countrys having the MIRV tech for now? Experts please shed some lignt on it
 

gokulakannan

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I want to know which missile of China is MIRVed I dont find one
hope this will help you to know about chinese missles

Google Image Result for http://www.softwar.net/DF31MIRV.JPG

The PRC has developed an improved variant of the DF-31 called the DF-31A. This upgraded missile has a reported range of 11,200+ km, and possibly MIRV capability to hold 3 warheads each capable of a 20-150 kT yield, and penetration and decoy aids to complicate missile defense efforts. In 2009 US Air Force Intelligence reported that under 15 DF-31A missiles had been deployed
 

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