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Security Issues South Asia » Defence Cooperation » India's AGNI IV Missile Test: An Assessment

Sep 20, 2012

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Successful Flight Testing of AGNI-IV
DRDO developed, 4000 kms range Nuclear Capable Ballistic Missile AGNI-IV, was successfully flight tested from Wheeler’s Island in Odisha on 19 September 2012 as per a Press Information Bureau release. This long range missile propelled by composite rocket motor technology, was tested for its full capability that is 4000 kms range and other characteristics.
The Agni-IV, launched from the road mobile launcher, reached the pre-defined target in about 20 minutes. The missile equipped with state of the art Avionics, 5th generation On Board Computer and with distributed architecture has the latest features to correct and guide for inflight disturbances. The most accurate Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System (RINS) and supported by highly reliable redundant Micro Navigation System (MINGS), ensured the missile reach the target within two digit accuracy. The re-entry heat shield withstood temperatures of more than 3000 degree centigrade and made sure the avionics function normally with inside temperature less than 50 degree centigrade.
All Electro-Optical Tracking systems (EOTS), Radars located all along the coast have tracked and monitored all the parameters throughout the flight. Two ships located near the target point tracked the missile and witnessed the final event.  Smt Tessy Thomas, Project Director AGNI-IV led the team of scientists during the operation.
The use of  Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System (RINS) and Micro Navigation System (MINGS) seems to suggest that the AGNI IV is independent of GPS navigation support system which would be a major advantage providing India autonomy in employment of the system on deployment.The flight time of 20 minutes is the window that would be available for a Ballistic Missile Defence system to track the launch and then engage the missile in the exo or endothermic sphere which will provide high degree of survivability given the short window of engagement. Road mobile launcher will also provide a high degree of flexibility for employment. Operational deployment of AGNI IV will considerably enhance India's deterrence as a precursor to the AGNI V.

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