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Showing posts from March, 2008

India: Missile defense dreams

India reveals plans for an ambitious anti-missile defense shield, sparking concerns of an arms race and speculation as to the country's true capabilities. India's recently unveiled designs to develop an integrated anti-missile shield has sparked concerns as to the potential impact on the regional strategic balance. With development underway, reports that the US is willing to assist India in building an anti-missile defense capacity are a cause for concern in both China and Pakistan. Russia, which has been one of India's key defense partners, will also be watching developments with growing unease. Nonetheless, considerable doubts remain as to the potential effectiveness of Indian anti-missile systems currently under development. DevelopmentFollowing successful interceptor missile tests in 2006 and 2007, India claims to have developed an anti-ballistic missile (ABM) capacity, with operational deployment scheduled by 2011. The chief controller of India's Defense Research…

DRDO sets its sights on launch of Agni-III ballistic missile in April

After the successful firing of Agni-1 missile on Sunday, the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile on March 5 and the K-15 (Sagarika) missile from a submerged pontoon on February 26, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has set its sights on launching the Agni-III ballistic missile in April 2008. Agni-III is the most powerful, surface-to-surface missile built by India, which can carry nuclear warheads. It has a range of more than 3,500 km. It has been described as not just “a missile, but a system for the future with which various configurations can be developed.” It will be the third launch of Agni-III, which will take place from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) on the Wheeler Island off the Orissa coast. Agni, Agni-II, Agni-I and Agni-III form the group of India’s surface-to-surface, ballistic missiles that can carry nuclear warheads. Agni-III is a two-stage, long-range missile that weighs 48.3 tonnes and is 16.7 metres long. It can carry warheads weighing 1.5 tonn…

DRDO tests nuclear-capable Agni-I missile

India today successfully test-fired its all solid-fuel 700-900 km range nuclear-capable surface-to-surface Agni-I missile. The missile was launched from a mobile launcher at the integrated test range at the Wheelers' Island, a defence base in the Bay of Bengal on Orissa coast near here, at 1015 hours. The test met all its parameters, Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) scientists said. This was the second user trial of the precision target hitting missile to test its "operational readiness," the scientists said. The last trial was conducted on October 5, 2007 from the same launch site. Agni-I is the first and only solid-fuel missile in the armoury of the Indian armed forces and has been inducted into service. DRDO carries out two tests of each missile every year. The indigenously-built sleek missile is 15 metres tall, weighs about 12 tonne and is capable of carrying both conventional as well as nuclear warheads of 1,000 kg.