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Subject: Tessy Thomas, India and weapons of mass destruction, Project Indigo, DRDO Anti Tank Missile, Nirbhay
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Agni IV missile being launched from Wheeler’s Island, Odisha.
Type Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile
Place of origin  India
Service history
In service 2014
Used by Indian Army
Production history
Designer Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
Manufacturer Bharat Dynamics Limited
Weight 17,000 kg[1]
Length 20 m[1]
Warhead Strategic nuclear (~15 kt to ~250 kt), conventional, Thermobaric

Engine Two stage solid propellant engine
4000 km[2][3]
Flight altitude 900 km
Ring Laser Gyro - INS (Inertial Navigation System), optionally augmented by GPS terminal guidance with possible radar scene correlation
8 x 8 TELAR (Transporter erector launcher) Rail Mobile Launcher
Range comparison of Agni missiles

Agni-IV is the fourth in the Agni series of missiles which was earlier known as Agni II prime. It has been developed by India's DRDO and displayed a number of new technologies and significant improvement in missile technology. The missile is light-weight and has two stages of solid propulsion and a payload with re-entry heat shield.[4] This missile is one of its kinds, proving many new technologies for the first time, and represents a quantum leap in terms of missile technology. The Missile is lighter in weight and has two stages of Solid Propulsion and a Payload with Re-entry heat shield. The Composite Rocket Motor which has been used for the first time has given excellent performance. The Missile System is equipped with modern and compact Avionics with Redundancy to provide high level of reliability. The indigenous Ring Laser Gyros based high accuracy INS (RINS) and Micro Navigation System (MINGS) complementing each other in redundant mode have been successfully flown in guidance mode for the first time. The high performance onboard computer with distributed Avionics architecture, high speed reliable communication bus and a full Digital Control System have controlled and guided the Missile to the target. The Missile reached the target with very high level of accuracy. Radars and electro-optical systems along the Coast of Odisha have tracked and monitored all the parameters of the Missile. Two Indian Naval ships located near the target witnessed the final event.

Defence Minister Shri A.K. Antony congratulated the DRDO team on its achievement. Dr Vijay Kumar Saraswat, Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Director General DRDO, who witnessed the launch, congratulated all the Scientists and employees of DRDO and the Armed Forces for the successful launch of AGNI-4. Sri Avinash Chander, Chief Controller (Missiles & Strategic Systems), DRDO and Programme Director, AGNI, while addressing the Scientists after the launch, called it as a new era in the modern Long Range Navigation System in India. He said, “this test has paved the way ahead for the success of AGNI-5 Mission, which will be launched shortly”.

Smt. Tessy Thomas, Project Director AGNI-4 and her team prepared and integrated the Missile System and launched the Missile successfully. In a jubilant tone she said that the DRDO has produced and proven many new state of the art technologies in the Missile System like Composite Rocket Motors, very high accuracy Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System, Micro Navigation System, Digital Controller System and very powerful onboard computer system. The Missile, having capability to carry Strategic Warheads for the Forces, has provided a fantastic deterrence to the country and it will be produced in numbers and delivered to the Armed Forces as early as possible.

Sri S.K. Ray, Director RCI, Sri P. Venugopalan, Director DRDL, Dr V.G. Sekaran Director ASL, Sri S.P. Dash Director ITR were present during the launch and reviewed all the activities.


The DRDO had produced and proven many new state of the art technologies with the Agni-IV like composite rocket motors, very high accuracy Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System, Micro Navigation System, Digital Controller System and very powerful onboard computer system.[4] Agni-IV bridges the gap between Agni-II and Agni-III. Agni IV can take a warhead of 1 tonne. It is designed to increase the kill efficiency along with a higher range performance. Agni IV is equipped with state-of-the-art technologies, that includes indigenously developed ring laser gyro and composite rocket motor. It is a two-stage missile powered by solid propellant. Its length is 20 meters and launch weight 17 tonnes. It can be fired from a road mobile launcher.[5][6] Efforts are being made to fine-tuning the Agni missiles to defeat anti-ballistic missile systems. Radar and other signatures of Agni-IV have been significantly reduced to make them much more immune to counter-measures.[7]


  • 15 November 2011: Agni-IV was successfully test fired for the first time, from a road mobile launcher at 9AM from Wheeler Island off the coast of Orissa. The missile followed its trajectory, attained a height of about 900 km and reached the pre-designated target in international waters of the Bay of Bengal. All mission objectives were fully met. All systems functioned perfectly till the end encountering re-entry temperatures of more than 3000⁰C.[4]
  • 19 September 2012: The missile was successfully test-fired again for its full range of 4,000 km from the Wheeler Island, off the Orissa coast.[8] The missile lifted off from a road mobile launcher at 11.48 a.m. and after zooming to an altitude of over 800 km, it re-entered the atmosphere and impacted near the pre-designated target in the Indian Ocean with remarkable degree of accuracy following a 20-minute flight. Carrying a payload of explosives weighing a tonne, the missile re-entered the atmosphere and withstood searing temperatures of more than 3,000°C.[2][9]
  • 20 January 2014: The missile was test-fired in the actual weapon and road-mobile configuration of the Strategic Forces Command (SFC), from the launch complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range at Wheeler Island off Orissa coast. The missile traveled a vertical distance of 850 km and covered its full range of 4,000 km. The on board ring laser gyro-based inertial navigation system (RINS) and the micro-navigation system (MINGS) enabled the missile to fall within 100 meters of its target. The re-entry shield withstood outside temperatures as high as 4,000°C, enabling the avionics to work at less than 50°C inside. The missile's production line will start by end of 2014 or early 2015 and its induction into the SFC will happen simultaneously.[10][11]
  • 2 December 2014: The missile was successfully test-fired by the Army’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC). This was the first user trial and fourth consecutive successful flight.[12] The missile has been inducted into the Indian Army.[13]

See also

Related development
Related lists


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  4. ^ a b c Livefist: VIDEO: Today's Successful Agni-IV Test
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External links

  1. Video of Agni IV test
  2. Picture of Agni IV being launched

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