The Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL) in Chandigarh, part of the government's Defence Research & Development Organisation, has developed a detonator to trigger a nuclear warhead suitable for the Agni-V – paving the way for the test launch of the latest in the 'Agni' series, which has a range of 5,000km.
''Agni-V is in the final phase of testing. I cannot predict the exact date of its launch, but it will be launched shortly,'' chief controller R&D (missiles and strategic systems) at DRDO Avinash Chander said at a press conference to mark the conclusion of the golden jubilee celebrations of the Chandigarh lab.
"The missile has a wide range and will enhance our defence strategies. It is not meant to scare countries like China, but to become capable of self-defence. The TBRL has a major role in the development and testing of Agni-V. The detonator which will trigger explosion in the warhead of the missile has been tested in Chandigarh," he said.
The new missile is nowhere near matching those of the inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) club, which includes the US, Russia and China. "We do not need the ICBM, as we do not perceive such a threat. But Agni-V shows our capability in marching towards this way," Chander said.
The DRDO is also working on augmenting the power of laser weapons from 10 kilowatt to 20 kw. "The major area of thrust will be laser technology and its role in weapons. We are working in this area. This includes miniaturizing warheads while maintaining the lethality," said Chander.
Also, a precise missile guided weapon, Prahar, with a short range of 90-50km will soon be inducted in the Army. The warhead of this weapon has been mainly designed at the TBRL.