Next version of ballistic missile in 2009

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | Visakhapatnam, Jan 7 | Updated: Jan 8 2008, 08:09am hrs
India is slated to conduct trials of the next version of the ballistic missile with a strike range of more than 5000 km and the sophisticated hypersonic plane in 2009.

It will also develop long-range, high speed interceptors that can strike down missiles fired from deep within the enemy territory.

Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) chief controller of R&D in missile systems sciences, V K Saraswat speaking at a plenary session in the 95 th Indian Science Congress here on Monday said that plans are afoot to build a floating test range to launch missiles in the next three years.

" We are encouraged after our successful launch of Agri III. The next version of the long-range ballistic missile has been tentatively named as Agni III Plus and defence scientists are currently working on its design', said Saraswat

He said the DRDO will also test its indigenously developed hypersonic plane, which can be used as a reusable missile launcher. The vehicle, one which can launch missiles, land back and be loaded again for more missions, is expected to be capable of at least a hundred re-entries into the atmosphere. The hyperplane, which is likely to be the size of a MiG 25 fighter aircraft, will be able to take off from a conventional airfields.

According to Saraswat high speed interceptors - AD-1 and AD-2 - would be for engaging 5000 km class targets.