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    Feb 2010


    Default India defence agni 1 missile.

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    Agni is an Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile. Agni-I used solid propulsion booster and a liquid propulsion upper stage, derived from Prithvi, essentially to prove the re-entry structure, control and guidance. The strap-down inertial navigation system adopts explicit guidance, which has attempted for the first time in the world. It uses all carbon composite structure for protecting payload during its re-entry phase. The first flight conducted in May 1989, established the re-entry technology and precise guidance to reach the specific target. Agni-I flight trials having proved the long-range technologies, an operational version of agni with solid-solid propulsion system was test fired in April 1999, which is Agni-II with mobile capability.

    Agni-I was first tested at the Interim Test Range in Chandipur in 1989, and is capable of carrying a conventional payload of 1000 kg (2,200 lb) or a nuclear warhead. Agni missiles consist of one (short range) or two stages (intermediate range). These are rail and road mobile and powered by solid propellants.

    The Agni I has a range of 700800 km while the Agni-II has a range of 2,0002,500 km. They are claimed to be a part of the "credible deterrence" against China and Pakistan. The Agni-II can only reach most parts of western, central and southern China. With the successful test of Agni-III which has a range of 3500 km, it falls within the reach of most major Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai.

    Agni-III is the third in the Agni series of missiles. Agni-III was tested on July 9, 2006 from Wheeler island off the coast of the eastern state of Orissa. After the launch, it was reported that the second stage of the rocket had failed to separate and the missile had fallen well short of its target. Agni-III was again tested on April 12, 2007, this time successfully, from the Wheeler Island off the coast of Orissa.On May 7, 2008 India again successfully test fired this missile. This was the third consecutive test; it validated the missile's operational readiness while extending the reach of India's nuclear deterrent to most high-value targets of the nation's most likely adversaries.

    It has been reported that the missile's Circular Error Probable (CEP) lies in the range of 40 meters, which, if confirmed, would make the Agni-III [6] most accurate strategic ballistic missiles of its range class in the world.[7] This is of special significance because a highly accurate ballistic missile increases the "kill efficiency" of the weapon; it allows Indian weapons designers to use smaller yield nuclear warheads (200 Kiloton thermonuclear or boosted fission) while increase the lethality of the strike. This permits India to deploy a much larger nuclear force using less fissile/fusion material (Plutonium/Lithium Deuteride) than other Asian nuclear powers. Older, less accurate ballistic missiles, such as those deployed by earlier nuclear powers require larger yield (1-2 Megaton) warheads to achieve the same level of lethality. It has also been reported that with smaller payloads, the Agni-II can hit strategic targets well beyond 3500 km.

    In May 2008 Indian scientists announced they had developed and patented a path-breaking technology that increases the range of missiles and satellite launch vehicles by at least 40%.[8] The enhanced range is made possible by adding a special-purpose coating of chromium based material to a rocket's blunt nose cone. The material acts as a reactive-ablative coating that forms a thin low density gaseous layer at the tip of the rocket as it approaches hypersonic speeds; this super-heated gas layer reduces drag by 47% (at mach 7-8), thereby allowing range enhancements at least 40%.[9][10] It has been announced that this technology will be incorporated in future Agni deployments after having undergone ranging and calibration tests.



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