In a monumental achievement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the scientists of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the successful maiden flight test of the indigenously developed Agni-5 missile. Dubbed “Mission Divyastra,” this technological leap marks a pivotal enhancement in India’s strategic defense arsenal.

At the heart of this accomplishment lies the Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology, providing the warhead with the capability to split (Pre-Split reentry vehicle) into multiple re-entry vehicles. This breakthrough allows for a precise and targeted attack, as a single missile can now deliver multiple warheads. Prime Minister Modi expressed pride in the DRDO scientists for their achievement, highlighting the strategic importance of Mission Divyastra.

The Agni-5 missile, classified as an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), boasts an impressive range of 5,500 to 5,800 kilometers. This extended reach is particularly crucial for bolstering India’s nuclear deterrence, especially against potential threats from the eastern frontiers. The development of Agni-5 represents a significant leap forward, surpassing the capabilities of its predecessor, Agni-III, which had a range of up to 3,500 kilometers.

However this missile looks significantly different from baseline Agni 5 Missile. The change are dictated by the introduction of MIRV warhead, resulting more rounded tip of the missile system. The stages are also closely packed because of which it initially appeared as two staged missile. This missile is pinnacle of ballistic missile technology of DRDO. Today DRDO is capable of making any type of missile system in less than two years and operationalise it in another two.

The types of reentry vehicles in ballistic missiles include Maneuverable Reentry Vehicles (MARV) and Multiple Independently Targetable Reentry Vehicles (MIRV). MARVs are warheads capable of maneuvering to evade anti-ballistic missile systems or improve accuracy by tracking moving targets using terminal guidance systems. On the other hand, MIRVs allow separately targeted nuclear warheads to be sent on independent trajectories after the main propulsion stages of the missile launch have shut down. These technologies enhance the effectiveness and capabilities of ballistic missiles in various scenarios.

India’s pursuit of a robust nuclear triad, allowing the launch of nuclear missiles from land, air, and sea, is a key component of its strategic defense doctrine. Agni-5’s extended range enables it to cover almost the entire Asian continent, reaching the northernmost part of China and certain regions in Europe. This development underscores India’s commitment to strengthening its position on the global stage in terms of strategic capabilities.

With the inclusion of the MIRV capability, India has officially entered the exclusive league of nations possessing this advanced technology. The cutting-edge system features indigenous avionics systems and high-precision sensor packages, ensuring that re-entry vehicles precisely hit their target points. This accomplishment showcases India’s technological advancements and its ability to compete on the global stage in terms of strategic defense capabilities.

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