Exclusive Video Interview with DRDO Chief Dr. V.K. Saraswat
On Agni-5 and beyond (Part-1)
Part : 1 2
India has a very ambitious missile programme. With the launch of Agni-4 and Agni-5 ballistic missiles, India has already demonstrated its immense capabilities in this field. Dr. V. K. Saraswat, the Scientic Advisor to the Defence Minister and DG, DRDO, in an exclusive and first of its kind video interview to Sushil Sharma, Managing Editor of the news portal Bharat Defence Kavach speaks about India’s missile programme. Here are the excerpts of a long interview divided into 11 parts.
SS: Welcome Dr. V.K. Saraswat to news portal Bharat Defence Kavach.com. Dr. Saraswat, it’s a moment of pride for the nation, first Agni-3, then Agni-4 and finally Agni-5 which made the country very proud. Congratulations for that. I just wanted to know that whatever missiles we have in our arsenal, do you think they are enough to counter any threat from any corner, or we need to something more? And also please tell us about the MIRV capable Agni-5, when it will be ready for tests?
VKS: I would like to make the position of our country very clear on the development of missiles. Our missile development programme is based upon the threat as it exists today and how we are coping with that threat.
If you recall the history of development of missile development in India we started with very short range missiles like Prithvi and Dhanush. Agni was only a technology demonstrator. Over a period of time as we found the threat was evolving, we started building missiles like Agin-1, Agni-2 and then Agni-3, Agni-4 and now Agni-5. So it is based upon the threat profile. The way the threat has emerged and what the nation needs to keep itself secured. The development program keeps its emphasis on.
As far as our readiness in this respect is concerned, I must say that launch of Agni-5 and the capability to reach distances of more than 5000 kilometers, I think we have come to a standard or a label where we are satisfied. But it does not mean that the threats will not evolve further or we will not build missile of better capabilities. We will continue to evolve as the threat evolves. That program we will launch as and when it is required.
So far as the MIRV is concerned, yes that's a natural progression from Agni-5. The MIRV is a force multiplier. That means better efficiency in countering the threat.
We have already launched the program and we are working on its realisation. There are certain technologies which have to be developed. It will only take some time. As soon as we finish that technology development phase, we will be in a position to give you an accurate statement with respect to its availability.
SS: Sir, you had said that the Agni-5 can also be used to launch micro-satellites for small duration. Are you planning to demostrate this capability in near future?
VKS: Agni five has the capability to launch satellites but with certain modifications. Certain modification means the early entry stage, because for launching satellites you don't have to re-enter the atmosphere. You only have to go in the higher atmoshphere. She upper stages will be modified. Then a mechanism for releasing the satellites. That development programme is initiated. We would be carrying out this capability test in the years to come.