Inter Continental Ballistic Missile: Agni 5

By Naveen Singh|Updated : March 13th, 2019

Here are some important details on Agni 5 which is an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). India is a rising superpower, and in order to protect oneself, there is a strong need for establishing oneself as a global soft power. But in some cases, use of force becomes imperative, like in the case of India.

India to protect oneself has an exemplary army but with technology use of missiles, aircraft etc. has become more pronounced in the era of modern warfare. India has kept its pace and has developed its missile arsenal which is nuclear capable. One such missile is Agni 5, which is an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile.

Let’s read more about this missile.

Inter Continental Ballistic Missile: Agni 5

What is Agni 5?

Agni 5 is an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile developed by DRDO (Defence Research & Development Organization) and manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).

A Ballistic Missile is a missile that follows a trajectory and delivers warheads at a predefined target. Most of its trajectory is unpowered and governed by gravity.

Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile is missiles that have a range of 5500 km. It is a part of Agni Series.

Agni Series:

Agni series of missiles were conceptualized keeping in view the rising threat from neighbors in 1980s itself.  Agni missiles are a product of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Project (IGMDP) launched in 1982 by the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

Agni 5 marks the entry of Indian capability in the Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile Range. Agni 5 is the most advanced in terms of navigation, guidance, engine, and warhead.

Many indigenously developed technologies were also tested in the Agni V trial. This variant of Agni I.e. Agni 5 is having advantages of higher reliability, longer shelf-life, less maintenance, and enhanced mobility.



The testing of Missiles is carried out from Abdul Kalam Island earlier known as Wheeler Island, Odisha. The Missile has been tested 7 times, the last one being in Dec 2018 which completed the pre-induction trials. The missile was launched from canister integrated mobile launcher.

Why India needs Agni 5?

India has adopted a nuclear doctrine of minimal credible deterrence and ‘no first use’ policy. On the other hand, when you look at China, then you may find that China’s ‘no first use’ policy only holds true if the territory does not belong to them. This means that if they consider any territory as theirs, they can use nuclear weapons in that territory. Observing this case, India needs a weapon like Agni to protect its Northeastern states like Arunachal Pradesh.

Features of Agni 5 Missile:

Agni V can be launched at a short notice from any location. It is canister based.

Can be launched with a single digit accuracy

Strike range of Agni 5 is more than 5000 km

It can carry a nuclear warhead of about 1500 kg.

Agni 5 is equipped with a high-speed onboard computer and fault-tolerant software,

It is 17m in length and 2 m wide.

It also has the MIRV (Multiple Independently Targetable Reentry Vehicle) techniques that can carry 2-10 nuclear warheads.



India joined the club of countries like USA, China, France, Russia, and Britain which have intercontinental ballistic missile capabilities.

Induction of Agni 5 will add more teeth to India’s deterrence against India’s adversaries.

Future Upgrades:

India is working on Agni-6 which will be capable of being launched from submarines as well as from land and will have a strike-range of 8,000–10,000 km.


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