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China-specific Agni-III test by Feb-March
New Delhi: After beginning to base Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter jets in the North-East, India is now finally gearing up to conduct another test of the China-specific 3,500-km-range Agni-III ballistic missile in February-March.
DRDO scientists are also on course to shortly test their fledgling two-tier ballistic missile defence (BMD), which has been tested three times till now and is designed to track and destroy hostile missiles both inside and outside the earth’s atmosphere.
As reported by TOI earlier, the ongoing Phase-I BMD system is geared towards tackling enemy missiles with a 2,000-km range, Phase-II is being designed to intercept incoming missiles in the 5,000-km class range.
Similarly, Agni-III will be ready only by 2012-2013. The first test of the rail-mobile missile, which is 16.7-metre tall and has a lift-off weight of 50 tonnes, in July 2006 had flopped miserably. But the subsequent two tests, in April 2007 and May 2008, were deemed successful.
Agni-III is crucial since it will provide India with the capability to strike deep into China, bringing cities like Shanghai and Beijing within its potent reach.
India’s most ambitious strategic missile Agni-V, with a 5,000-km range, in turn, will be ready for its first test only by early-2011 or so. Both Agni-III and Agni-V are primarily designed to bolster India’s “active credible deterrence posture’’ against China.
India working on anti-satellite capabilities
New Delhi: India on Monday said it was making the “building blocks” of the technology to develop anti-satellite capabilities as part of its space security measures.
“We are making the building blocks of technology for the space security measures and they are of two types, active and passive. So, we are developing both these elements in this programme,” DRDO chief V K Saraswat told reporters. He was responding to queries while speaking on the sidelines of a function to sign MoUs between DRDO labs and private industries to commercialise technologies developed by the defence research organisation.