Great going A-5!

Avinash Chander, DRDO chief and former head of ASL, Hyderabad, pronounced 2nd test firing of Agni-5 a success. He didn’t elaborate. But he must be particularly happy with several aspects. Firstly, with how well the second stage, 2 m dia composite motor functioned. Two, how nicely the GOC (guidance on chip) once again permitted the missile to attain 10 meter CEP. And most of all, as was pointed out by someone who noticed it in the first launch and which could possibly be seen when the video is released of the 2nd launch, the very rapid climb rate of the missile — characteristic of a submarine-launched missile or an anti-missile defence missile (!!!). It suggests a new propellant with higher specific impulse or, alternately, greater pressure generated in the chamber and, therefore, newer frame design. Going good, 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, India's strategic thinking and policy, Military Acquisitions, Missiles, Nuclear Policy & Strategy, South Asia, Weapons. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Great going A-5!

  1. RV says:

    Greater pressure differential is more apt than greater pressure! IMHO this is just the second launch of the A-5, and apart from the A-3 and A-5 India doesn’t have much experience with 2 mt. diameter motors. Further, unlike any previous Indian vehicle, the A-5 control system utilizes digitally connected multi-channel communications. Apart from reducing weight by doing away with plenty of cabling, this also increases dependability. Thus, a lot more launches need to carried out in Tranches: (i.) replacing the first stage steel casing with a composite one, (ii.) cannisterization. MIRV-ing will require further test launches. Thus the “Kasturirangan-condition/requirement” needs to be revised, or, altogether done away with.

  2. RV says:

    In this very interesting interview following the first test of the A-5:

    the late Lt. General (ret.) Gennady Mikhailovich Yevstafiev (25.08.1938 – 19.02.2013), a person of great fortitude and professionalism and former head of the Division on Arms Control and Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons of the Foreign Counter-intelligence Service (SVR) – the successor to the KGB in this role, categorically stated:

    “This [the A-5] is a formidable missile with the range of, some people say it is 5000 kilometers, but I’m afraid they are misleading the public opinion because there are people who believe that it has a potential of 8000 kilometers. And of course the range of throw is a classified information but nevertheless between 5000 and 8000, this makes it intercontinental strategic missile.”.

    I believe that his opinions on this subject may be taken very seriously.

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