DRDO says Agni-VI being readied
Two months before the first anniversary of the first successful test flight of the nuclear-tipped inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) — Agni-V — India on Friday announced that the next version was under development.
V K Saraswat, scientific advisor to the Defence Minister said: “We are developing Agni-VI, a long-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile that would carry multiple warheads allowing one weapon system to take out several targets at once.”
Stating that Agni-VI will be a force multiplier, he said the design had been finalised and Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) is at the hardware realisation phase of the project.
“With Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) capability, this system will really be a force multiplier,” he said, but refused to divulge details about its range.
DRDO officials said the range of Agni-VI will be longer than its predecessor —Agni-V ballistic missile, which was test-fired in April last year. Once developed, Agni-VI will launch India into an elite club of nations with such capability, including Russia and the US.
Saraswat further said DRDO was also working on developing a cruise missile defence programme which would enable armed forces to defend against low-flying cruise missiles and enemy aircraft.
In the next four years, he said DRDO will provide the Indian Air Force anti-radiation missile to be fired from the air. “This will work against radars and other surveillance equipment provide our force an edge,” he added.