Upgrading Nuclear Missile Capabilities
by Steve Waldrop
August 19, 2002
Delhi, India- India plans to start production of a nuclear-capable intermediate
range missile, said officials of the Indian Defense Ministry.
anonymously, officials said that the Agni missile, which now is undergoing field
trials, will be produced and introduced into the arsenal of the nation's armed
forces. The Agni missile project is an ongoing effort to protect India and keep
the country secure. The most advanced version of the Agni has a range of 1,500
miles, sufficient to hit most targets in neighboring Pakistan and well into China.
government also announced it would begin production and deployment of the supersonic
cruise missile Brahmos, which can be launched from ships, submarines and planes.
Brahmos missile, traveling at 2.8 to three times the speed of sound , is three
times faster than a subsonic cruise missile such as the Tomahawk of the U.S. It
has nine times the kill power because the kill power is proportional to the square
of the velocity.
is called a cruise missile because it cruises horizontally and travels only in
the atmosphere. A ballistic missile travels in a parabolic arc: takes off in the
atmosphere, flies into space and re-enters the atmosphere to hit the target.
missile arsenal includes army and air force versions of the short-range, nuclear-capable
ballistic missile Prithvi; the Trishul, a surface-to-air missile that targets
aircraft and can counter sea-skimming missiles; and the anti-tank Nag missile.
India also plans to jointly produce 11 advanced light helicopters with
Russia and assemble an unspecified number of T-90 tanks from kits imported from
Introducing these new tanks and missiles were among 15 initiative
announced in a government statement to mark the 55th anniversary of India's independence.