Nuclear Missiles Current Affairs
India has successfully carried out night user trial of Agni-I short-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile. The test flight was conducted by Indian Army’s Strategic Forces Command off Abdul Kalam Island in Bay of Bengal, off the coast of the Indian state of Odisha. The test was second known nighttime trial of Agni-I since its first such successful test in April 2014.
Agni-I is short range nuclear capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile. It is first missile of the Agni series launched in 1983. It was developed by premier missile development laboratory of DRDO in collaboration with Defence Research Development Laboratory and Research Centre Imarat and integrated by Bharat Dynamics Limited, Hyderabad.
It weighs 12 tonnes and is 15-metre-long. It is designed to carry payload of more than one tonne (both conventional and nuclear warhead). It is single stage missile powered by solid propellants. It can hit a target 700 km away. Its strike range can be extended by reducing the payload. It can be fired from road and rail mobile launchers.
It is equipped with sophisticated navigation system which ensures it reaches the target with a high degree of accuracy and precision. The missile already has been inducted into armed forces. Since its induction it has proved its excellent performance in terms of range, accuracy and lethality. It is also claimed to be a part of India’s minimum credible deterrence under No first to use policy.
Nuclear-capable surface-to-surface Dhanush ballistic missile was successfully test-fired from naval ship off Odisha near Paradip in the Bay of Bengal. The missile test was carried out by Strategic Forces Command (SFC), the tri-services military command that controls all of India’s nuclear weapons and their associated delivery systems.
Dhanush missile is also known as Prithvi-III. It is naval variant of indigenously-developed Prithvi-II missile. Its design features customisations to Prithvi platform to make it suitable for launch from ship. It is short-range ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear as well as conventional warheads.
It has length of 8.53 meters and 0.9 metre wide is capable of carrying a payload of 500 kg and is capable of hitting both land and sea-based targets. It can be used for both ship-to-ship and ship-to-surface strikes. It has declared strike range of 350 km.
The Dhanush/Prithvi-III is part of five missile platforms that have been indigenously developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) since 1983, as part of Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). The other families of missiles developed under IGMPD are Agni, Trishul, Akash and Nag. The Dhanush missile made its first test flight in 2000, with first fully operational test conducted in 2004. It has been test-fired total of seven times so far. The last time Dhanush was test fired was in November 2015.