INDIAN DEFENCE FORCES TO INDUCT HOMEGROWN MISSILES
By Bulbul Singh
21 Oct 09. Indian scientists are developing a missile with multiple
warheads. The missile is one of the many new missile projects which Indian scientists of the Defence Research and Development Organisation [DRDO] are developing. Meanwhile, the homegrown Astra air-to-air missile is ready to be incorporated on the Russian SU-30 MKI multirole aircraft.
To thwart the capability of missile defence systems in the near future, Indian scientists are developing multiple warhead missiles. A senior scientist of India’s DRDO said the new technology will help deploy multiple independently target able re-entry vehicles (MIRV) on its missiles. The technology will be fully developed by 2014 and inducted into the Indian defence forces. Currently, the country has missiles that can deliver only one warhead at a time.
While the DRDO scientist said that the platform for re-entry vehicle would be different from the the Agni series of missiles for the MIRV technology, sources said the multiple warheads will be deployed on the Agni-3 missile, which has a range of more than 2500 kilometers and is regarded as a China-centric missile.
Each missile with MIRV technology will deliver multiple warheads and also at different targets simultaneously; the warheads can be nuclear. Besides, decoy warheads will be fired alongside the warheads to divert enemy missiles. Sources said the warheads will have stealth technology so that they will not be traceable by enemy radars.
DRDO scientists will face their biggest challenge of devising warheads so that they are reduced in size and the missile is capable of carrying multiple warheads, including nuclear warheads.
China has already tested its MIRV technology, but a defence ministry official said it is not sure if the system has been fully inducted into the Chinese defence forces.
Sources in DRDO also said that they are working on technologies to kill the multiple warheads with laser, but added that the technology is still in early stages and could take several years before it is developed.
Sources however added that China is in advanced stages of developing laser technology to shoot down missiles and even satellites. The technology called Directed Energy Weapons, uses beams of laser guidance systems to shoot down incoming missiles and even satellites in space.
Sources in the Indian defence ministry said, Indian scientist
will even seek the help of overseas companies and agencies in
case the need to develop the MIRV and laser-based anti-missile technology arises.
Meanwhile, India’s homegrown air-to-air BVRAM missile Astra is ready and will be fitted on Sukhoi-30MMKI and MiG 29 aircraft.
Developed by DRDO laboratory based in Hyderabad, Astra can take on enemy aircraft traveling at supersonic speed in head-on mode at a range of 80 kilometers and in tail-chase mode at 20 kilometers.
In an air-to-air combat scenario, the fighter plane’s radar will
detect the enemy target and launch the Astra missile at a supersonic
speed facilitated by a high-energy propellant.