India is capable of developing intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that can hit targets beyond 10,000 km range, S K Salwan, chairman of armament research board of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), said today.
Agni - V, the country's longest-range Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), has a range of 5,000 km.
''India has successfully test-fired nuclear capable Agni - V missile recently, which has a range of 5,000 km. But we are capable of developing ICBM that can hit targets beyond the range of 10,000 km,'' Salwan said on the sidelines of a conference on 'Emerging Vistas of Technology in 21st Century', organized by a Vadodara -based educational group today.
The 8,000-km to 12,000-km range Agni-VI will be a four-stage intercontinental ballistic missile, is currently in the hardware development phase, after its design phase was completed.
Agni VI will have Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Warheads as well as Maneuverable Reentry Vehicle (MaRV), which will give Agni VI an extended range.
It will be taller than its predecessor Agni V, and is expected to be flight tested by 2017. The government of India is yet to approve the project, although DRDO has completed all calculations and started the engineering work.
And, unlike the bulky Agni-III, the new generation Agni-VI missile will be sleeker, easily transportable and would be readily deployed. It will have the capability to be launched from submarine and from land-based launchers.
Salwan said beside the Agni-VI's ground version, the DRDO is simultaneously working on its underground variant.
Besides, he said, India has indigenously developed laser technology and has become self-sufficient after ban on import of components for laser technology, imposed by the USA, UK and other countries.
''We adopt synergic approach towards national needs and priorities in the field of armaments, yet keeping in focus the global advancements in order to develop competence in key areas,'' he said.
On the role of Armament Research Board, he said it helps in creating self-sufficiency in critical technologies needed for development of competitive armament stores and put the armament discipline at the fore-front in global scenario.