Agni-IV is the outcome of DRDO work in the Agni series of missiles which was earlier termed as Agni II prime. Agni-IV is capable to cover the range of 3,500-4,000 km depending upon the load factor, essentially covering most if not l of China, depeneding on the deployment location. Agni-IV bridges the wide gap left by Agni II and Agni III. It is capable of carrying a warhead of 1 ton. Agni-IV is made for increase the kill efficiency along with a higher range performance matrix. More importantly, it can be launched from a road mobile launcher, though an operational launcher has not been publicly displayed. The wheeled transport seen in parades and in launch operagtions does not appear to be the operational deployment launcher.
Agni IV is loaded with state-of-the-art technologies, which includes indigenously developed ring laser gyro and composite rocket motor as well. It is a two-stage missile powered by powerful solid propellant. Its length is 20 meters and launch weight is about 17 tons. The length seems to be about the same as the Agni II, but the diameter is visibly greater. It thus represents an entirely new solid rocket motor design, rather than being an extension of either the Agni-I/II or Agni-III/V families of motors.
A high performance on board computer with distributed avionics architecture and high speed reliable communication bus and a full Digital Control System were used to control and guide the missile to the target. It is equipped with modern and compact avionics to provide high level of reliability. The state of the art Ring Laser Gyros based high accuracy INS (RINS) and Micro Navigation System (MINGS) complementing each other in redundant mode have been incorporated into the missile system in guidance mode. The sophisticated missile is lighter in weight and has two stages of solid propulsion.
The missile is equipped with state of the art Avionics, 5th generation On Board Computer and with distributed architecture has the latest features to correct and guide for inflight disturbances. The most accurate Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System (RINS) and supported by highly reliable redundant Micro Navigation System (MINGS), ensured the missile reach the target within two digit accuracy. The re-entry heat shield can withstand temperatures of more than 3000 degree centigrade and made sure the avionics function normally with inside temperature less than 50 degree centigrade.
The missile is undergoing developmental trials by country’s premier Defence Research and Development Organisation. Agni-IV was first tested on November 15, 2011 from famous Wheeler Island off the coast of the eastern state of Odissa. It was test launched with the help of a mobile launcher from launch complex-4 of ITR at Wheeler Island, about 100 km from here, at about 1145 hours.
The DRDO developed 4000 km range Nuclear Capable Ballistic Missile AGNI-IV, was successfully flight tested from Wheeler’s Island in Odisha 19 September, 2012. This long range missile propelled by composite rocket motor technology, was tested for its full capability. The Agni-IV, launched from the road mobile launcher, reached the pre-defined target in about 20 minutes. All Electro-Optical Tracking systems (EOTS), Radars located all along the coast have tracked and monitored all the parameters throughout the flight. Two ships located near the target point tracked the missile and witnessed the final event.
Dr. Vijay Kumar Saraswat, SA to RM, Secretary Dept of Defence R&D and DG DRDO, Shri Avinash Chander, Programme Director AGNI, DS & CC R&D (MSS) reviewed the total launch activities and guided the team. Smt Tessy Thomas, Project Director AGNI-IV led the team of scientists during the operation. Dr S.K. Chaudhuri, Director RCI, Shri A.K. Chakrabarti, Director DRDL, Dr V.G. Sekaran, Director ASL, Shri MVKV Prasad, Director ITR witnessed the launch. Defence Minister Shri AK Antony congratulated all scientists of DRDO for the successful flight test of AGNI-IV.
India successfully conducted the first user trial of the Agni-IV intermediate range ballistic missile on 02 December 2014. The Agni-IV was tested from Wheeler Island off the eastern Indian state of Odisha by the Indian army's Strategic Forces Command (SFC). The entire flight from the missile's lift-off till the splashdown in the Indian Ocean lasted 15 minutes.
India successfully test-fired an unarmed Agni-IV intermediate range ballistic missile on 09 November 2015, local media reported. The missile was launched at 9.45 a.m. local time (04:15 GMT) from the Wheeler Island and landed in the Bay of Bengal. "Flight was successful and it met all the mission parameters," a Defense Research and Development Organization official told The Hindu newspaper.
India carried out on 23 December 2018 yet another successful launch of its Agni-IV ballistic nuclear-capable missile at the Integrated Test Range located on Abdul Kalam Island. "The state-of-the-art missile is equipped with modern and compact avionics to provide a high level of reliability and precision," the DRDO sources said. This launch was the seventh successful test-firing of the missile.
The nuclear-capable Agni-IV missile was successfully flight-tested under the Strategic Forces Command on 06 June 2022. The ballistic missile has a range of 4,000 km. In an official statement, the Ministry of Defence said, “A successful training launch of an Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile, Agni-4, was carried out at approximately 1930 hours on June 06, 2022 from APJ Abdul Kalam Island, Odisha. The successful test was part of routine user training launches carried out under the aegis of the Strategic Forces Command. The launch validated all operational parameters as also the reliability of the system. The successful test reaffirms India's policy of having a 'Credible Minimum Deterrence' Capability," the statement added.
The fact that the 06 June 2022 launch was characterized as a "training launch" probably indicates that this system is operational. Although it is reported that the Agni-IV has both road mobile and rail mobile options, there is no indication in the open literature as to where the operational garrisons might be located.
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