India has recently carried out a successful launch of Agni-3 Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile from A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha.

 

Details

  • It was launched as part of routine user training launches carried out under the aegis of the Strategic Forces Command.
  • India has also completed its nuclear triad and operationalised its second-strike capability, with nuclear ballistic missile submarine INS Arihant undertaking deterrence patrols.
    • A nuclear triad is a three-pronged military structure that consists of land-launched nuclear missiles, nuclear-submarines and aircraft with nuclear missiles.
    • A second-strike capability assures an ability to respond to a nuclear attack with powerful nuclear retaliation.

 

About Agni missiles

  • It was initially conceived in the IGMDP as a technology demonstrator project in the form of a re-entry vehicle, and was later upgraded to a ballistic missile with different ranges.
    • A ballistic missile is a type of missile that uses projectile motion to deliver warheads on a target.
    • These weapons are guided only during relatively brief periods and most of the flight is unpowered.
  • The Agni missile is a family of medium to intercontinental range ballistic missiles, named after one of the five elements of nature.
  • Agni missiles are long range, nuclear weapons capable, surface to surface ballistic missiles.
  • The first missile of the series, Agni-I was developed under the lGMDP and tested in 1989.
  • After its success, the Agni missile program was separated from the IGMDP upon realising its strategic importance.
  • The Agni series of missiles constitute the backbone of India’s nuclear weapons delivery which also includes the Prithvi short range ballistic missiles and fighter aircraft.

 

About ‘Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme’ (IGMDP)

  • It was conceived by Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to enable India attain self-sufficiency in field of missile technology. It was approved by Government of India in 1983 and completed in March 2012.
  • The 5 missiles (P-A-T-N-A) developed under this program are –
      • Prithvi: Short range surface to surface ballistic missile.
      • Agni: Ballistic missiles with different ranges, i.e. Agni (1,2,3,4,5)
      • Trishul: Short range low level surface to air missile.
      • Nag: 3rd generation anti-tank missile.
      • Akash: Medium range surface to air missile.

 

About ‘Strategic Forces Command’

  • The SFC is a tri-Service command that forms part of Indias Nuclear Command Authority (NCA).
  • It was created on January 4, 2003 by an executive order of Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
  • Function – It is responsible for the management and administration of the country’s tactical and strategic nuclear weapons stockpile.
  • It is headed by a Commander-in-Chief of the rank of Air Marshal.