Agni-IV (“Fire”) is the fourth in the Agni series of missiles which was earlier known as Agni II prime. It has been developed by India’s DRDO and displayed a number of new technologies and significant improvement in missile technology. The missile is light-weight and has two stages of solid propulsion and a payload with re-entry heat shield. With 3,500 to 4,000 km range, it is capable of striking targets in nearly all of mainland China, if launched from northeastern part of India.
This missile is one of a kind, proving many new technologies for the first time, and represents a significant leap in India’s missile technology. The missile is lighter in weight and uses a two-stagerocket engine powered by solid propellant. The Composite Rocket Motor which has been used for the first time has given excellent performance. The missile system is equipped with modern and compact avionics with redundancy to provide a high level of reliability. The indigenous-built ring laser gyroscope is used in the high accuracy INS (RINS) and Micro Inertial Navigation System (MINGS), which complement each other as a redundancy. The high performance onboard computer with distributed Avionics architecture, high speed reliable communication bus and a full Digital Control System have controlled and guided the missile to the target. The missile reached the target with a high level of accuracy. Radars and electro-optical systems along the Coast of Odisha have tracked and monitored all the parameters of the missile. Two Indian Naval ships located near the target witnessed the final event.
Dr Vijay Kumar Saraswat, Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Director General DRDO, who witnessed the launch, congratulated all the scientists and employees of DRDO and the Armed Forces for the successful launch of AGNI-IV. Sri Avinash Chander, Chief Controller (Missiles & Strategic Systems), DRDO and Programme Director of AGNI, while addressing the scientists after the launch, called it as a new era in the modern Long Range Navigation System in India. He said, “this test has paved the way ahead for the success of Agni-V Mission, which will be launched shortly”.
Smt. Tessy Thomas, Project Director of Agni-IV and her team prepared and integrated the missile system and launched the missile successfully. In a jubilant tone she said that the DRDO has produced and proven many new state of the art technologies in the Missile System like Composite Rocket Motors, very high accuracy Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System, Micro Navigation System, Digital Controller System and very powerful onboard computer system. The missile, having capability to carry strategic nuclear warheads for the forces, has provided a fantastic deterrence to the country and it will be produced in numbers and delivered to the Armed Forces as early as possible. Sri S.K. Ray, Director RCI, Sri P. Venugopalan, Director DRDL, Dr V.G. Sekaran Director ASL and Sri S.P. Dash, Director ITR were also present during the launch and reviewed all the activities.
The DRDO had produced and proven many new state of the art technologies with the Agni-IV like composite rocket motors, very high accuracy Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System, Micro Navigation System, Digital Controller System and very powerful onboard computer system. Agni-IV bridges the gap between Agni-II and Agni-III. Agni IV can carry a warhead of 1 tonne. It is designed to increase the kill efficiency along with a higher range performance. Its length is 20 meters and launch weight 17 tonnes. It can be fired from a road mobile launcher. Efforts are being made to fine-tune the Agni missiles to defeat anti-ballistic missile systems. The radar cross-section and other detectable signatures of Agni-IV have been significantly reduced to make them much more immune to counter-measures.