Sunday, April 15, 2007

India tests nuclear power with Agni-3

India is putting its missile reach to test again. Agni-3, India's most potent nuclear capable missile will be test-fired next week. This will test India's capability to demonstrate just how far it can deliver its nuclear weapons, if attacked.
Prithvi Missile

The Cabinet Committee on Security has cleared the test firing of the 3,000-km range, nuclear capable Agni-3 missile on April 11 from Wheeler's Island in the Bay of Bengal. If successful, it will extend the range of its nuclear weapons beyond India's immediate neighbourhood.

Missile technologists are now hoping to put behind them the disappointment of a failed first launch in July 2006. A defective heat shield was said to be the cause.

“These failures will have to be fed back into the design process to make the system more rugged,” says K Santhanam Ex-Chief Adviser, DRDO.

Inter-continental missile reach is considered the benchmark in establishing nuclear weapons capability. The last time we fired Agni 3 and failed, it became clear to the world that India is still far away from being a credible nuclear weapon power. Its missile capability is on test again and India has to prove that it has the bite to back its bark

A successful Agni-3, which is designed to carry a 1.5-ton nuclear bomb, can put India within a threshold of this reach. So far, it has a proven range of just over 2,000 km with the Agni-2. Greater reach can give it a more assured second-strike capability.
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