Bangalore: Thursday's 5,000-km-plus sky part of Agni-5 missile might have put India among a select-group of countries having ICBM-capabilities. But, the icing on the cake is the confidence shown by DRDO's tech-gurus in developing systems which were denied to India. With Agni-5 turning a blockbuster, DRDO has set its eye now on bigger and bolder missions.
During a telephonic interview with Express from Wheeler Island, Avinash Chander, DRDO's Chief Controller (Missiles and Strategic Systems) and Agni-5 Project Director was as cool as a cucumber, despite the smashing hit. “Our next aim is to put satellites to orbit at very short notice using missiles. We can launch low-cost micro-satellites into the orbit with a payload of 60 kg. It can be used for intelligence-gathering purpose and launched within few hours of notice,” Avinash said.
According to him, the next big challenge for DRDO is to master the MIRV (Multiple independently-targeted re-entry vehicles) and MaRV (Manoeuvring re-entry vehicles (MaRV) technologies. “Our next aim is maneuvering warheads for long-range missiles. We want to develop intelligent missiles with highly-accurate warheads for future. Missiles that could counter an incoming missile, by predicting its trajectory is the key,” Avinash said. He said that DRDO is hovering around the idea of developing missiles with anti-satellite capabilities too.
He said the scientists are already on a mission mode to develop an all-composite missile for the future. “A full composite missile with a high-degree of precision. We are moving faster and now we have the technologies to boot. We will have missiles with less radar cross sections soon. The user is part of our thought-process right from the word go. The user has become an integral part and hence the ownership has gone up many folds with all our new projects,” Avinash said.
Among the new technologies used onboard Agni-5 are Ring Laser Gyro-based Inertial Navigation System (RINS), Micro Inertial Navigation System (MINS), high speed onboard computer based on power-PC design, light-weight composite motors and 100 per cent home-grown software. “The INS worked in dual redundancy configuration. Agni-V uses a three-stage propulsion system and it has onboard less cabling, multi-sensors among others. Around 80 per cent of Agni-5 is made in India, making it a truly value-for-money-weapon,
” Avinash said.