The Indian Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) announced that the next-generation ballistic missile Agni P, which can carry nuclear warheads, has been successfully tested. Agni P was tested off the coast of Odisha, off the island of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam in the Bay of Bengal, at 10:55am.
“Various telemetry and radar stations positioned along the eastern coast tracked and monitored the missile. The missile has followed textbook trajectory, meeting all mission objectives with a high level of accuracy,” DRDO said in a statement. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated the DRDO “for the maiden successful flight test of Agni P, an advanced variant of Agni class of missiles. I compliment the efforts of the team behind this mission.”
The Agni-P is the most recent version of the Agni ballistic missile series. The Agni series missiles are the result of DRDO’s missile development program, which began in 1983 with the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program. Agni-I, Agni-II, Agni-III, Agni-IV, Agni-V, Agni-VI, and Agni-P are the seven types of Agni missiles used in India. According to PIB’s official twitter account, the Agni-P is a canisterized missile (i.e. fired from a
launch canister) with a range of 1,000 to 2,000 kilometers.
The newly designed missile features a composite motor casing, a highly maneuverable re-entry vehicle, improved propellants, and navigation and guidance systems, among other improvements. The missile, which is half the weight of the Agni III, might also be easily transported inside the country to meet operational needs. Before entering the Indian army’s arsenal, the Agni-P ballistic missile, which is planned to gradually replace Agni-1 missiles with a range of 700 km, is likely to pass a few more tests.
As border tensions with China and Pakistan escalate, and these tensions occasionally evolve into armed conflicts, India’s defense forces are attempting to rapidly expand their capabilities, with strategic weapons such as ballistic missiles seen as a vital component of conflict deterrence.
On September and October of last year, the DRDO earned a name for itself in the global scene by launching 12 missiles in six weeks. The Akash-NG Surface to Air Missile was also tested at the beginning of this year. It also successfully tested Pinaka rockets last Friday at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur, off the coast of Odisha.