Missile ProWess

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Published: February 2, 2015 1:02:43 AM

With Agni V, India enters a select club of countries with SATNAV missiles

With the successful third developmental trial of Agni V, India has entered a select club of countries with nuclear-capable, long-range missiles. Unlike its predecessors in the Agni series, this missile comes with technology that vastly improves accuracy.

Agni V comes with a guidance system that uses a ring laser gyroscope for inertial navigation, with an added micro-inertial navigation system. In layman terms, with the help of satellite navigation (SATNAV), Agni V can correct any accumulated errors in trajectory after launch. It uses a much lighter and faster on-board computer, too, which leaves greater room for warhead metrics. While it is proof of India’s martial prowess, our Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) will not be able to provide coverage to Agni V for most of its trajectory. However, accuracy is not the only USP of the missile. Design-wise, it gets a leg-up over most comparable missiles, with extensive use of carbon composites making it lighter than the former, which have motor steel casings. Two more successfulcannisterised tests, and Agni Vwill be inducted into India’s Strategic Forces Command.

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