Agni – Prime : New-generation nuclear-capable ballistic missile
Part of: GS Prelims and GS III – Defence and Security
- A new-generation nuclear-capable ballistic missile, Agni-P (Prime) was successfully test-fired by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
About Agni-P (Prime)
- The ‘Agni Prime’ is the advanced version of the ‘Agni-1’ missile.
- It is a short-range ballistic missile that will have a range of 1000 km to 1500 km.
- It will have advanced features in agility and road mobility.
- It is a surface to a surface missile that can carry a payload of around 1,000 Kg or a nuclear warhead.
- The double stage missile will be lighter and much sleeker than its predecessor ‘Agni-1’.
- It is a canisterised missile.
- Canisterisation of missiles reduces the time required to launch the missile while improving its storage and mobility.
About Agni class of missiles
- The Agni class of missiles are the mainstay of India’s nuclear launch capability which also includes the Prithvi short-range ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and fighter aircraft.
Important value additions
- In the past few years, India has also operationalised its submarine-based nuclear launch capability, completing the nuclear triad.
- The DRDO successfully test-fired a 3,500-km range submarine-launched ballistic missile, K-4.
- Once inducted, these missiles will be the mainstay of the Arihant class of indigenous ballistic missile nuclear submarines (SSBN).
- It will give India the stand-off capability to launch nuclear weapons submerged in Indian waters.
- INS Arihant, the only SSBN in service, is armed with K-15 missiles with a range of 750 km.