Thumbs up for A-5

Agni-5 IRBM is expected to be fired a second time tomorrow from Wheeler on a depressed trajectory into the Indian Ocean. There are some important issues to consider about this missile. While it’ll eventually be an all-composite (kevlar) system, the unit to be launched Sunday, Sept 15, retains an all-steel first stage including rocket motor, with the second stage, casing, motor and all being composite. While head of DRDO, Avinash Chander, has talked of canisterizing Agnis, including Agni-5, this second launch will be a straight-up launch to collect more data on various aspects of the missile system in flight and to be reassured that the very successful first launch in April-2012 was not a fluke! Moreover, while ASL, Hyderabad, has a lots of experience with the 1 metre dia missile system (on Agni-2 & 3), A-5 is 2 metre dia missile configured to reach 8,000 kms and carry 3-7 MIRVed warheads to extend its reach to ICBM range. Thumbs up for A-5!

About Bharat Karnad

Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, he was Member of the (1st) National Security Advisory Board and the Nuclear Doctrine-drafting Group, and author, among other books of, 'Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy', 'India's Nuclear Policy' and most recently, 'Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)'. Educated at the University of California (undergrad and grad), he was Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, and Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
This entry was posted in Asian geopolitics, Defence Industry, DRDO, Great Power imperatives, Indian Ocean, Military Acquisitions, Missiles, Nuclear Policy & Strategy, Nuclear Weapons, South Asia. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Thumbs up for A-5

  1. Thomas says:

    We need to get this an SLBM version of this on the Arihant.

  2. satyaki says:

    Bharat Sir,

    1. Agni 3 also has 2m dia.

    2. Are the composite casings used for A-5 Kevlar or Carbon-Carbon ? The latter are lighter.

    3. Is the 8000 km range for the current vehicle with steel first stage or for the eventual all-composite version ?

  3. A lot of the new tech on the newer missiles were tried out on the Agni-2 Prime (A2P) testbed, and workable options developed. It may have included the 2 m dia. As to the composite, it’s carbon-carbon. A good Q on whether the 8000 km range is for the eventual all-composite, or steel first stage, version — one can speculate but ‘ám not sure.

    • RV says:

      A-2 Prime (or A-4) has a 1 mt. diameter motor. The alleged figure of 8000 kms. is ostensibly for the configuration “as is”.

      • HariPrasad says:

        A4 has 1.3 m Dia. It is A2 which has 1 M dia.

        Any way can any body tell whether all composite Agnis are planned? If yes when can we expect the test of all composite Agni? i.e composite motor in 1st stage also.

      • A-5 with composite 1st stage casing and rocket motor, is in the works.

  4. HariPrasad says:

    Thank you very much sir.

    Can I assume that now All agni series will be converted to all composite missiles?

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