The Agni Prime new generation ballistic missile was successfully test fired off the coast of Odisha.


About the ‘Agni Prime’ Missile

  • The ‘Agni Prime’ is a two-stage canisterised solid-propellant missile with dual redundant navigation and guidance system.
  • The nuclear-capable missile has been designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • The surface-to-surface ballistic missile has a range of 1000 to 2000 km.
  • The Agni Prime missile, the smallest and lightest among the entire Agni series of ballistic missiles.
  • It weighs 50 per cent less than the Agni 3 missile and has new guidance and propulsion systems.
  • In addition, since it is canisterised, it can be launched from rail or road, be stored for longer periods and can be transported as per operational requirements.


List of Agni missiles

  • Agni-I —
    • The Agni-I is a short to medium-range ballistic missile.
    • Range: 700-800 Km
  • Agni-II —
    • The Agni-II is a medium-range ballistic missile equipped with two solid fuel stages.
    • Range: 2000 Km
  • Agni-III —
    • The Agni-III is an intermediate-range ballistic missile equipped with two solid fuel stages.
    • Range: 3000 Km
  • Agni-IV —
    • The Agni-IV is an intermediate-range ballistic missile equipped with two solid fuel stages.
    • Range: 4000 Km
  • Agni-V —
    • The Agni-V is an intercontinental range ballistic missile with three solid fuel stages.
    • Range — 5000 Km


What is a ‘ballistic missile’?

  • A ballistic missile follows a ballistic trajectory to deliver one or more warheads on a predetermined target.
  • A ballistic trajectory is the path of an object that is launched but has no active propulsion during its actual flight (these weapons are guided only during relatively brief periods of flight).
  • Consequently, the trajectory is fully determined by a given initial velocity, effects of gravity, air resistance, and motion of the earth (Coriolis Force).
  • Shorter range ballistic missiles stay within the Earth’s atmosphere.
  • Longer-ranged intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), are launched on a sub-orbital flight trajectory and spend most of their flight out of the atmosphere.


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.