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ICBM Agni-V to be test-fired within a year

Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) is all set to launch its Agni-V missile by early 2011, said DRDO distinguished scientist and Chief Controller (R&D), Life Sciences, Dr W Selvamurthy on Thursday.
Selvamurthy was addressing presspersons at the Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL). “The Agni-V ‘surface to surface missile’ will be able to cover 5,000 km radius with a pay load of 1.5 tonne of both nuclear and conventional warfare,” he said.
Selvamurthy said that Agni-V was a three-stage missile unlike Agni-III- -which was a stage 2 missile.
He said that the Agni-V could be called an ‘Inter Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM)’ since it had the capacity to cover 5,000 km radius.
On the Agni-III missile, he said the tests conducted on the missile have been satisfactory and the army will take its decision regarding the induction of the missile. He said that space security is also a major concern.
“DRDO has not taken up any antisatellite space programme. But if required, it is well prepared to develop and design such a mechanism.”
Steps to combat chemical, biological warfare
Selvamurthy further said that the DRDO has also taken major steps to combat NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) Warfare. “The DRDO has invented a ‘Portable Gas Chromatograph’ which can detect chemical warfare agents. This has been converted into a three chemical paper which will be placed on the uniform and any change in colour will enable the soldiers to detect chemical contamination,” he added.
On the threat of biological warfare, he said that DRDO has invented an antigen-based diagnostic kit that would help diagnosis of typhoid, leptospirosis, dengue, H1N1, malaria, plague, anthrax and other diseases. “DRDO has developed a H1N1 kit which is much superior to the existing kits used worldwide. The kits used across the world cost Rs 8,000, while the kit invented by DRDO would cost only Rs 1,000. Using these kits, the detection of the H1N1 virus can be done within 1 hour while the normal kit would take around 10-12 hours,” he added.
Besides, the invention of Recce Vehicles and Remotely Operated Vehicle Daksh would also help in identifying chemically contaminated areas.
Remote Operate Vehicles have also been helping in the removal of radiation source which can be a problem for the soldiers. DRDO has also come out with mobile decontamination vehicles,” said Selvamurthy.
He said systems worth Rs 600 crore have already been inducted by the DRDO. He said the cabinet committee has given its approval for granting Rs 300 crore for NBC research.
Future battle scenario
On the topic of advanced warfare, Dr Selvamurthy said that DRDO had recently held a brain storming session on ‘Battle Scenario 2020,’ which discussed the possible battle scenarios in the future.
Focus on army’s needs
“Apart from providing weaponry mechanisms for the armed forces, the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) is also involved in catering to the human needs of the military,” said DRDO Chief Controller (R&D) Dr W Selvamurthy. He was speaking at the inauguration of the two-day national seminar on ‘Futuristic Food Requirements of the Armed Forces-Stakeholders’ organised by the Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL) in Mysore on Thursday.
The army men need to be fit and healthy to be part of a winning troupe. DRDO is actively involved in catering to their needs by providing the right kind of food to soldiers serving in diverse and extreme climatic conditions, he added.
Dr Selvamurthy said that around five laboratories were fulfilling the food requirements of the army.
“DRDO has also invented hybrid varieties of seeds used to cultivate garlic, chillies, cauliflower and other vegetables in cold conditions. Besides, DRDO has been providing fresh food to armed forces.”

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