Last week India has test-fires Agni-1 and Prithvi-II ballistic missiles

Last week, India has test launched two types of missiles, the Agni-I Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile and Prithvi-II tactical surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missile under the control of the India’s Strategic Forces Command and Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). India’s Strategic Forces Command has performed these test launches as part of its annual military training exercise to test the combat readiness of the Indian Army’s missile forces.

Last week India has test fires Agni 1 and Prithvi II ballistic missiles 925 001
Archive image of Agni ballistic missile test fire (Picture source DRDO)

On February 6, 2018, India has test fired Agni-I short-range nuclear capable ballistic missile followed the test launch of the Prithvi-II tactical surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missile, on February 7, 2018.

The Indian Ballistic Missile Defense Program is an initiative to develop and deploy a multi-layered ballistic missile defense system to protect from ballistic missile attacks. Development of the anti-ballistic missile system began in 1999. Around 40 public and private companies were involved in the development of the systems.

The Agni missile family consists of three deployed variants including the Agni-I, Agni-II and Agni-III which are in service with the Indian Army. The Agni-IV is a new missile in the Agni family that has completed all trials successfully in January 2017.

The Agni 1 Missile is an Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile. Agni-I used solid propulsion booster and a liquid propulsion upper stage, derived from Prithvi, essentially to prove the re-entry structure, control and guidance. The strap-down inertial navigation system adopts explicit guidance, which has attempted for the first time in the world. It uses all carbon composite structure for protecting payload during its re-entry phase. The first flight conducted in May 1989, established the re-entry technology and precise guidance to reach the specific target. Agni-I flight trials having proved the long-range technologies, an operational version of Agni with solid-solid propulsion system was test fired in April 1999, which is Agni-II with mobile capability.

The Prithvi is a family of tactical surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missile developed by DRDO of India under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP). Currently, there is three variants in the Prithvi, Prithvi I army version with a range of 150 km and a payload of 1,000 kg, Prithvi II Air Force version with a range of 350 km and a payload of 500 kg and the Prithvi III Naval version with a range of 350 km and a payload of 1,000 kg.

The Prithvi-II missile was developed by DRDO in the 1990s and early 2000s under the so-called Integrated Guided Missile Development Program, was first introduced into service in 2003. It has a firing range of around 350 km and can be armed with conventional or nuclear warhead having a weight from 500 to 1,000 kg.