SEARCH

News » National

Updated: April 19, 2012 14:15 IST

Crucial Agni-V launch today

Y. Mallikarjun
Comment (29)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Agni - V, India's longest range ballastic missile, is loaded on to the road mobile launcher. Photo: V.V. Krishnan
The Hindu Agni - V, India's longest range ballastic missile, is loaded on to the road mobile launcher. Photo: V.V. Krishnan

The stage is set for the first developmental flight test of Agni-V, India’s most potent strategic missile with a range of 5,000 km, from Wheeler Island, off the Odisha Coast this evening.

The three-stage, solid propelled missile was taken to the launch pad in the early morning to conduct range readiness checks. It was later shifted to another shelter and the vehicle will be brought back to the launch pad a few hours before the launch.

The Flight Readiness Review meeting and Launch Authorisation Board are scheduled to meet later in the day to give the final nod for the launch of the missile at around 19.00 hrs. The tiny Wheeler Island has been a beehive of activity for more than 20 days with a few hundred missile technologists and scientists working at frenetic pace for meeting the scheduled deadline.

The success of the mission will propel India into the club of nations possessing technologies for developing Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), although Agni-V is of the class of an Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM). Agni-V’s range could be further enhanced to become an ICBM to meet the country’s strategic requirements.

V.K. Saraswat, Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister and Avinash Chander, Chief Controller (Missiles and Strategic Systems), DRDO have described Agni-V as a game-changer and asserted that it would significantly enhance the country’s strategic Defence capability.

The 17-metre tall missile weighs 50 tonnes and is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead with a 1.1 tonne payload. However, the missile will carry a dummy payload in this developmental flight.

More In: National | News

Mr.Namboodhiri, It is the might of our armed forces that keeps us
safe from the evils designs of our neighbors. Without such technology
and might I'm afraid there will not be any one left in our country to
light a home fire. The same technology used in Agni 5 can be used to
launch satellites too. China already has such missiles in its arsenal
and in due time Pakisthan may also develop the same. We don't want
our country to be trailing them, Do we?

from:  Tarun
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012 at 19:18 IST

Mr Namboodri,

Did you pose this question to yourself?..."What if the poor in India who cannot keep the home fire burning are under enemy fired missiles?" The rich will probably migrate before that, But where will the poor go?
Hope they have some detterence in place so that the enemy does not fire his missiles and the poor continue to try keep their "home fires" burning.

The fire (Agni) is sacred and is used in religious functions for
celebrating life and creation, while the Agni missile will ensure we continue to celebrate life and creation in our nation by keeping our enemies at bay.

from:  Chandra
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012 at 19:11 IST

It is important that we as a country indigenise all the weapon systems so that not only we save billions of Dollars which right now end up in foreign nation's pockets but also develop a solid military which matches up to the threat environment India is faced with. The saved billions & technologies developed as a result of these complex weapons development should ultimately find their way in civilian sectors and help nation develop & progress further. Ultimately at the end of the day, every citizen should have a house to rest, a decent meal to eat, decent time to spend with family. We must not remain a militarily strong yet a poor nation. Let us focus on GDP per capita and not just GDP.

from:  Sandeep
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012 at 18:51 IST

Good comments Mr. Namboodhiri!
Certainly, the weapons are not to defend the starving masses.

from:  haribhakta
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012 at 18:46 IST

@ Mr. Namboodhiri. Its not about being aggressive but its all about
defense. If India develops ICBM, it will act as a deterrent for the
Chinese who at the moment can hit any Indian city at will. I remember
some old lines from a poem. " kshama shobhti us bhoojang ko jiske paas
garal ho, usse kya jo dantheen, vishrahit aur saral ho" means only
strong can boast of forgiving someone. So in my point of view
expenditure on defense is very important as it safeguards our
independence.

from:  gaurav
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012 at 18:21 IST

We need ICBM as a deterant,so that any rough state will ever dare to unleash a Thermo-Nuclear war imposing on us. Since the advent of Nuke devices and ICBM Technology, the World Wars had been stopped. We are now enjoying a blissful peace.

from:  D.Sarkar
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012 at 18:10 IST

The test fire of Agni V will definitely boost India's defence capability. Since our neighbour China is much more advanced in defence technology, we need to ensure that we carry out mosr tests of ICBM missiles and induct them in our Army as soon as possible.We cannot afford any delay in weapons induction where our neighbours are already prepared for war with India.

from:  Anil Trivedi
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012 at 18:00 IST

Great work DRDO. Keep it up.

from:  Sher Shah
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012 at 17:52 IST

I would like to reply to the comment of Mr. Namboodhiri.Firstly, the Arms race was not started by India. India is committed to protect its borders and display credible minimum deterrence to its aggressive neighbors.
Secondly, Agni Missile is not the cause for mourning, death and destruction as it has not been used against any nation by India till now. Producing WMDs may not be a source of pride but it definitely gives more volume to voice of countries like Pakistan. Imagine where India would stand in negotiations on border issues with its neighbors without nuclear deterrence. It is already clear that we can't depend
on UN for border issues.
Lastly, about millions dying hungry. India's failure to provide food security is not because of purchase of billions of dollars worth defense equipment but because of supply constraints, leakage in delivery and corruption.Indigenous development of Agni V is a welcome sign as it will save millions of dollars worth of equivalent defense imports.

from:  Ajay Lamba
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012 at 17:45 IST

Great...Great....Great....

from:  alps
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012 at 17:45 IST

The question of "keeping the home fires burning for hundreds of millions of Indians"are certainly important. There are different ministries to look after it. Scientists of very high caliber are engaged in various research under these ministries.Some of the results are evident too .But under any case, that should not get mixed up with the ICBM development. Certain defensive mechanisms are essential for the survival. And the fittest only can survive.

from:  Viswanath C Pillai
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012 at 17:38 IST

I agree with you 100 percent, Mr. Namboodhiri. It is a sin for a country like India where largest number of poor people of the world live.

from:  S Ahmad
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012 at 17:31 IST

Kudos to the team of DRDO. Its a crucial addition to the defense capabilities of Indian Nation. With India's increasing prominence in International arena it is imperative for a nation to be capable of dealing any adversaries. Hope India will move ahead in right direction towards building more scientific and technological defense capabilities.

from:  Vijayasaradhi
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012 at 17:30 IST

Well after having been witness to various defeats in the past by the
foreign invaders and the 1962 humiliation, it is imperative that India
should be self sufficient in its defence preparedness. It is a fact
that in modern time and post cold war, no body will come to our rescue
if there is any need for it. It is hoped that the present day rulers
will not sit on its laurel but will allow the scientists to go beyond
Agni V. Best of luck and congratulations to all the concerned.

from:  Brij Khanna
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012 at 16:51 IST

Oh! at last India did to show the world with his teendabba missile along rocket fuel for running 5000 km range but no one is far with it against india just in siachen with few hundreds km... you remember!
Pak already made Taimor missile technology with 7000 km range and awaiting for the president of india to go Israel and then fire.....hahah "Aik teer se do shikar."(remember "Angry bird") hahaha.

from:  Faisal
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012 at 16:50 IST

Oh! at last India did to show the world with his teendabba missile along rocket fuel for running 5000 km range but no one is far with it against india just in siachen with few hundreds km... you remember!
Pak already made Taimor missile technology with 7000 km range and awaiting for the president of india to go Israel and then fire.....hahah "Aik teer se do shikar."(remember "Angry bird") hahaha.

from:  Faisal
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012 at 16:49 IST

We need food to eat and cloths to wear.. not Agni

from:  amin
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012 at 16:36 IST

i find the above statement by bart namboodhri highly
inappropriate.The defence of the nation is of tantamount
importance....especially when we have hostile neighbours like
pakisthan and china.....we need a credible nuclear deterant as
urgently as possible....and AGNI V is the perfect weapon to
have....we are already lagging severly behind china in the arms
rce....atleast we should have something to defend ourselves or scare
the enemy into not fighting with us....i think AGNI V was a briliant
job by our scientist and i wish them all the success in their test
today.

from:  Prajwal
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012 at 16:34 IST


India has been surrounded by China. They have a presence in Myanmar in the east, Pakistan in the west , Sri Lanka in the south apart from Nepal in the north .
When China attacked in 1962 , we lost 54000 sq kilometers of territory . Our scholar president Rajendra Prasad later justified arming of our fighting forces while speaking in parliament saying : "Violence is not necessarily bad . When non violence is under threat , Violence in fact is the only protector of non violenc. "
I agree with the sentiments of Mr Namboodhiri. but protecting our country cannot be accomplished with sentiments, it is tough job. We cannot fall in the same trap again

from:  TROY
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012 at 16:04 IST

Wish the Government shows more interest in eradicating hunger, provide basic sanitation to the millions who still use the roads and open air as toilets, basic education to the kids.
When there is lot to be achieved in social development, what are we trying to achieve by test firing a long range missile? Indians can't be proud to have ICBM while millions are dying without basic amenities. Invest in Education, Health and empowering people.

from:  Hemnath S
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012 at 15:57 IST

@Bart - Heat up arms race with whom? It would be better if people understand that the major ountries alerted by this test already have this technology. Burning home fires is not the only priority of our government, it should be able to protect its people from external aggressors. It is this typical mindset of taking national defence easily that caused our nation to suffer in the hands of our enemies in the past. It's high time people learn something from it. Why don't you people see this missile as a deterrent rather than as a symbol of destruction?

from:  Harish
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012 at 15:54 IST

Proud to hear this news...way to go India

from:  Vikram
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012 at 15:18 IST

Agni V will heat up the arms race as it incinerates a target 5000 km
away but it will not keep the home fires burning for hundreds of
millions of India's poor. The Defense Ministry is on the offensive
in purchasing billions of dollars worth of equipment. Where is the
pride in joining WMD producing, aggressive nations that keep fueling
their economies by stoking regional embers into raging conflagrations.
The fire (Agni) is sacred and is used in religious functions for
celebrating life and creation, while the Agni missile is cause for
mourning death and destruction.

from:  Bart Namboodhiri
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012 at 14:37 IST

India is testing different types of war head weapons. We have lot of other issues in our country. like food shortage, oil shortage, uncontrolled population, political corruption and 100s of so on. Why India cannot use this technologies and skilled man power for a revolution in those sectors that I mentioned above.

from:  Suresh Punnappilly
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012 at 13:40 IST

As soon as the missile is successfully tested,we must congratulate
ourselves and thank our scientists who have propelled a poor and deficient nation to a power which will be no less than any of the world powers.The most ancient civilization is en route to becoming a world power.Despite corruption and other problems which our country face,its a big achievement.

from:  CHANDRAKANT
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012 at 13:09 IST

we can make AGNI-V , We can make chandrayan but we con't make war planes
and we buy war planes from Europe in a highest price ever. One lac crore
for 126 planes !!

from:  Hariharan.D
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012 at 12:52 IST

Military might is always respected if not Feared. Should have extended the range to 12000 km so that in one shot we were knocking the door of white house saying hello guys u can't just ignore us!!Strength respects strength. Yes u can feed a million hungry babies with this money! still nations existence and pride is also important. China is banging our northeast & northern doors continuously, its practically bullying us and we keep smiling as if all normal.lets prove we can if needed bang beejing from corner to corner and it makes sense. Jai Hind

from:  changappa
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012 at 12:10 IST

this is a great achievement of the Indian defence scientists. Wish tem all the best for the test!

from:  Nageswara Rao
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012 at 12:04 IST

The successful completion of the mission will be a big milestone for the country's defence on the whole and is sure to add a feather on DRDO's cap. Kudos to all responsible for the missile's development.

from:  Niranjan Sundaresan
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012 at 12:03 IST
Show all comments
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
The Hindu presents the all-new Young World

In the 16th Lok Sabha Election 2014, West Bengal has witnessed some interesting trends. Apart from the debacle of the Left and the ascendance of the Trinamool Congress (AITC), the other somewhat s... »

International

Tamil Nadu

Andhra Pradesh

Karnataka

Kerala


O
P
E
N

close

Recent Article in National

Two tribals shot dead by Maoists in Odisha

Maoists shot dead two tribal civilians including a village head in Malkangiri district of south Odisha at wee hours of Friday. »