A dedicated team of 1,000 scientists are working round-the-clock to fully operationalise this missile which will bring targets as far away as northern China within reach.
“This has been a highly challenging experience for me because a highly accurate system has been developed,’’ she said while speaking at the 99th Indian Science Congress. Dr Thomas described Agni 5 as “a totally new system from top to bottom”, including nose tip to the base. Every subsystem was new, and the challenge was to prove the whole system.”
“Agni 1, 2 and 3 have been inducted into the Army while Agni 4 has been tested. But more tests are required for Agni 4,” she revealed.
The Indian military scientific community was extremely excited at the success of flight trial of the nuclear-capable Agni 4. “It was a textbook flight and it is difficult to describe the joy we experienced at the success of Agni 4,” said this gutsy woman scientist who admitted, “(the development of) Agni 4 was a challenging experience for me.”
Agni 5 is a ballistic missile with a range approaching ICBMs in the armory of China, Russia and the US. The three-state Agni 5 is undergoing integration at the moment but all Dr Thomas said on this subject was that “advances are coming within milli-seconds.”
When asked whether India was going to develop an ICBM, Dr Thomas replied, “Agni 5 is the kind of missile which will meet the security challenges that India faces.”
When asked about China providing a great deal of assistance to enhance Pakistan’s missile program, Thomas said she had no comments to make on this subject.
Both the Agni 4 and the Agni 5 stacked up admirably when compared to other nations’ missiles with similar ranges.
Compared to older Agni missile variants, the Agni 4 and 5 both have better strike precision and can be primed transported with greater ease. Earlier missiles were based on rail mobile launchers which needed an exhaustive infrastructure support but Agni 4 and Agni 5 are based on road mobile launchers.