Significance of Agni-5 in the Indian Defense

This article gives an account of Agni-5 launch details and its specifications. This write up discusses reasons behind India's missile technology development. This resource provides the information regarding technologies used in the missile and discusses its importance in defense of India. This helps you know the criticism India facing and answer to criticism is also provided.


India has tested fired Agni-5 at Wheeler Island in Odisha. This has given success and joined the elite club of 5 nuclear capable countries. This led to the great joy among the scientists on their success of keeping India ahead in missile technology. It is not a run for arms race and it is for defense of Indians. India had already tasted the bitterness of being incapable of facing the war. Hence, India is developing indigenous technologies to thwart belligerent countries. This is improved version and latest successor of Agni versions i.e. Agni-1 which has range of 700 kilometers, Agni-2 which has the range if 2000 km, Agni-3 that has the range of 3000 km and Agni4 has the range of 3800 km. Thus India is improving its arsenal not to be belligerent but to be bold and to safeguard its sovereignty.

Specifications of Agni 5 missile

Agni-5 is the maximum nuclear deterrence India contains with the range of 5000kms. It is 17.5 m in length and its diameter is 2 meters. It is nuclear warhead with 3 stage solid fuel. Its weight is 50000 kg. The missile is intercontinental ballistic missile. The development cost is expected that it is more than 2500 crore rupees. Every missile cost is 50 crore rupees. The speed of this missile is mach 24. Thus, it has good range which can suffice the needs of India, but it is not at production mode still there are trials to induce them into military. Agni-5 is the prominent deterrence India has and can help in achievement of improved versions further. This missile can reach China in north and Indonesia in the east.

Technologies used in this missile

This missile is prepared for easy mobilization and even can be taken through roadways. The canister launch system has provided this feature to Agni-5. This flexible mobility helps in taking missile anywhere and can operate it without difficulty. For any missile, there should be proper guidance and navigation system. It is essential to track and blast the predetermined object or location pin pointedly. For this, new updated technology is used. Ring laser gyroscope and accelometer are used for navigation. So, there is operational flexibility and as well as striking capacity without any mistake. It has another feature called MIRV i.e. Multiple Independently targetable Re-entry vehicles. This feature equipped missile can target multiple areas. Agni-5 can carry two to ten missiles. These can be delivered at different targets and can assign two payloads at the same location, empowers India in defense strategy.

Test launches

Agni-5 is part of IGMDP (Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme). Prior to Agni-5, DRDO developed its earlier versions named Agni1, 2, 3, 4 and the latest in trials is Agni5, the maximum range nuclear capable missile India has. The first trial held at Wheeler Island, Balasore, Odisha on 19 April, 2012. It was successful with its pinpointed accuracy in its strike. The second launch test held at 15 September 2013. This test is also successful as it has achieved its target. This achievement is congratulated by eminent personalities and Prime Minister of India. Scientists are elated with the joy as their 30 years of dedication; hard work and determination are giving fruits. The journey is not stopped. There are many miles to go.

Reactions of international community

India domestically got applaud from its people and also from eminent personalities. Internationally, there are reactions, which are in positive. China reminded that India is not a competitor to it but a partner for joint development and pave for a peaceful contribution towards the stability in the region. Pakistan has responded that India has given information regarding test trials prior to the test launch according to the agreements. United Kingdom has welcomed India into elite club and said that it is India now on par with China, Russia, France, United States and United Kingdom. Coming to the United States, it affirmed that India has no tendency of proliferation and as well as it has solid record regarding to it. United States is ready to make doors open to India of its defense technology and defended India when North Korean nuclear capable missile trials are reminded. They replied that North Korea has several sanctions whereas India has clean record. It has also referred the fact that no country has criticized India on its test trial of Agni-5. NATO also replied to the questions posed that India is not at all a threat; even there is development in its missile technology.

Need of missile technology and missiles to India

Missile technology and space technology are not different. They are of same. Space technology is used to place satellites in orbits and missiles are used to place bombs in a location. Both involve the same technology. Then, there may be a question, why not it be used for only space programmes and peaceful usages. Why it should be used for missile making and test trials. These are the questions posed often by few peace craving souls. India is a peaceful country and is not a belligerent. It knows the value paid for its lethargic attitude. There are societies and civilizations which are washed away just because they do not improve themselves in warfare. The civilization here referred is Indus valley civilization. Aryans got the knowledge of iron and they found the mines of iron and began to make arms which cannot be broken easily. They tamed horses and began to go on riding in war fields. These two facilitated the victories on Indus people. Whereas Indus people are conservative and do not know iron and horse, can use only the oldest warfare. They are attacked by Aryans who are superior and a civilization itself is washed away. The reason is that not updating knowledge. If Indus people had known it, they would have guarded themselves and preserved the civilization. This is India's history. There are more examples of such. Later, British came to India with modern warfare such as guns, etc. They laid roads for quick mobility and communication to call the soldiers to act. Indian Rajas had fought with swords and older techniques and maneuvers. India is bigger and larger than United Kingdom. The population of India is more than the British. The army of India is more than the British but modern warfare was used by them, defeated the Indians. Thus, technology played key role in defeat of India in given two examples. Later after independence, we have not thought of improving warfare but friendship through Panchsheel. The unexpected war was imposed and broke the conscience of India. These issues propelled the nation to be vigilant. We are not after conquering spirit. India needs missiles to defend but not to destruct. Our policy is also not to use the nuke missiles first. India has clean record. This is not quoted by India, by United States itself. India wants to deter those which are belligerent and not meant to terrify the adjacent countries. It is to save his sovereignty not to steal or rob of others.

At the same time, there is great arm race going on. India's Agni5 is not an answer to it. It is meant for deterrence. Russia has RS-24 with the range of 10,500 km and can carry 1200 kg payload. United States Minuteman-3 is with the range of 13,000 km while China has DF-5A with the range of 13000 km. Now comparing with these, India's Agni-5 is less capable in reaching the range. When world is going with such high capacity, India still lagged behind. After Pokhran test, sanctions are laid on India. Even though, India indigenously developed this missile.


India is developing country with poverty prevalent. There should be enough programmes and employment opportunities are to be provided to its youth. For this large investments are needed. At the same time, India needs one trillion dollars by 2017 for its infrastructure development. Still, there are no opportunities for small scale industries to grow due to lack of investments. These are the questions raised by few newspapers regarding the recent missile test. Few countries may think that India is scaring its neighbors with its missile trials.

Answer to criticism

India is facing the poverty problem. For that purpose, India is providing food security. There is employment problem. For that India initiated NREGA to provide rural compulsory work. India at the same time, it is keen to provide social security to its entire people through National Pension Scheme. Through this scheme, it is contemplating to get the investment for its infrastructure programmes. For its development, five years plans are working.


It is a great leap forward after the success of two trials of Indian Agni-5. India is peaceful country. But it does not mean that it should not have arms. Arms are to deter the belligerent and inculcate the courage in Indians. India is to save its sovereignty and it should not bend its head in the wake of war. Still, it has to go so many miles in missile technology.


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