Simple Explanation of Agni-5


Author: Parveen Kaswan ( Author is an Aerospace Engineer and currently working on his Masters in Engineering Designs at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore )

Agni -5 is the fifth in the line of the Agni Missiles to strengthen the defence of the Indian armed forces. The missile was tested on April 19th in Odisha’s Wheeler Island. It was the first occasion when India has test fired a three staged missile

One of the positive advancements made in the development of Agni-5 is that it weighs only a kilogram more than the Agni-3, yet it has a lot better range than it. The missile can strike whole of Asia, the northern parts of China and many parts of the Europe.

Key Facts about Agni-5


It is a Inter Continental Ballistic Missile(Missile which have range higher than 5000Km). Ballistic missiles first exit  the atmosphere and then Re-enter into earth atmosphere and governed by Ballistic Trajectories. In Ballistic missiles crucial part is re-entry because of high Aerodynamic heating due to friction at hypersonic speeds. Maximum  Speed of Agni-5 is  24 Mach number(Mach no. is ratio between speed of an object to the speed of sound). Hypersonic speed is more than five Mach number.

The Agni-V is a three stage solid fuelled  Ballistic Missile with composite motor casing in the second and third stage. Range is more than 5000Km. Total flight duration for the first flight test of Agni-V on 29 April 2012 was for 1130 seconds.

Agni-V will feature  Multiple Independent  Re-entry vehicles(MIRVs) with each missile being capable of carrying 2–10 separate nuclear warheads. Each warhead can be assigned to a different target, separated by hundreds of kilometres; alternatively, two or more warheads can be assigned to one target. MIRVs ensure a credible second strike capability even with few missiles.

Guidance system: The system which guides the missile from launching pad to the target. Ring laser gyroscope(A gyroscope is a device for measuring or maintaining orientation and ring laser gyroscope is advanced type of gyroscope which works on Sagnac Effect) and inertial navigation system(it is an instrument which measures position, orientation, and velocity(direction and speed of movement) of a moving object without the need for external references). It can also be augmented by GPS system. In Terminal Phase(when missile is going to hit the target) it uses possible radar scene correlation(in simple words it compares a stored image of target with the actual target image) for more precise hit.


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