Agni V can carry a one-ton payload (meaning a nuclear warhead) and is configured for carrying multiple warheads which can be guided to separate targets independently — thereby giving the missile a MIRV (multiple independently targeted re-entry vehicle) capability. This is a major technological achievement combining as it does guidance and control with miniaturisation of the warhead.
1. The Agni-V is India’s first Inter Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), and will give the country the capability to strike every country in the world apart from the United States. If successful, India will join an elite club. Only the US, Russia, France, Britain and China currently possess the capability to operate an ICBM.
2. Once launched the missile cannot be stopped, and can only be launched on the direct orders of the Prime Minister. Agni V can also be launched from the road side in a special silo.
3. The Agni-V was built at a reported cost of Rs 25 billion ($486 million).
4. The Agni-V will be a three-stage, all solid fuel powered, 17-metre tall missile with a range of 5,000 kilometers.
5. It is 17.5m-tall, solid-fuelled, has three stages and a launch weight of 50 tons
Missiles available to other nuclear weapons states employ relatively older technology.
Agni-V’s innovative technologies include composite rocket motors, guidance ring-laser gyro-based inertial navigation systems, micro-navigation systems and accelerometers to measure the ICBM’s acceleration and detect any change in its vehicular motion.
Composites have been extensively used to reduce the ICBM’s weight. A third, miniaturised stage has been added to the Agni-III to boost its range from 3,500km to 5,000km.
The missiles are being built at Bharat Dynamics Limited in Hyderabad under the DRDO’s supervision and operated by the Strategic Forces Command