With two or three more successful test firings, the Agni V missile is expected to be operational by 2015, said Tessy Thomas, director, Agni Missile Project, Defence Research and Development Organisation, here on Friday.
Interacting with the media after inaugurating a national conference on ‘Systems, Energy and Environment,’ organised by the Government College of Engineering at Mangattuparamba, Ms. Thomas said this ambitious project can carry multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles which can deliver multiple warheads at different targets.
Affirming that India is self-reliant in missile technology, Ms. Thomas said the country had made a quantum leap in the field.
Agni V is one of the biggest achievements of the country and this is being further improved upon. As per earlier calculations, the intercontinental ballistic missile had a range of 5,000 km, but according to the observations made by neighbouring countries, it has a range of 7,000 km, a statement which underlines the strength and potential of the missile.
She observed that missile technology is used as a weapon of peace.
Acknowledging that more than 2,000 institutions and industry players are associated with the DRDO for the project, Ms. Thomas said the Agni series is of global standards, while Agni IV and V belong to a new class of technology.
Speaking on female representation in the area of missile technology, Ms. Thomas said the zone, generally considered a male bastion, is opening to change. When she joined the DRDO in the eighties, the scenario was different as there were not many engineering colleges. With more colleges, more people are approaching the field, including women, she added.