Mission Divyastra


DRDO conducts Mission Divyastra successfully.


GS-3 (Security & Defence)

About Mission Divyastra:

  • Mission Divyastra is the flight test of the indigenously developed Agni-5 missile with Multiple Independently Targetable Re-Entry Vehicle ( MIRV) technology.
  • It was carried out from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha and accomplished the designed parameters.

Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) Technology

  • MIRV technology allows a single missile to target multiple locations, often spanning hundreds of kilometers apart.
  • Countries known to possess MIRV-equipped missiles include the United States, Russia, China, France, and the United Kingdom. Additionally, Pakistan is in the process of developing such missiles, while suspicions surround Israel’s possession or development of them.
  • These missiles can be launched from both land-based platforms and sea-based platforms, including submarines.
  • Historical Context: MIRVs were initially developed in the early 1960s to enable a single missile to carry multiple nuclear warheads, each capable of striking different targets.
    • The United States pioneered the development of MIRV technology, deploying MIRVed Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) in 1970 and MIRVed Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs) in 1971.
  • Lethality of MIRV Technology: Unlike traditional missiles with single warheads, MIRVed missiles can release warheads at varying speeds and directions during flight, significantly increasing their effectiveness.
    • Developing MIRV technology requires the integration of large missiles, compact warheads, precise guidance systems, and intricate mechanisms for sequential warhead release.

India’s Involvement with MIRV:

  • Agni Missile Series:
    • India has developed a credible minimum nuclear deterrence strategy, with the Agni missile series playing a crucial role, particularly in countering potential threats from China.
    • The Agni missiles are solid-propelled ballistic missiles, offering ranges from short to intermediate (700-5000kms) with road and rail mobility for enhanced survivability.
    • Under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP) initiated in 1983, India began testing the Agni missile system, starting with Agni 1 in 1989.
  • Agni Missile Variants: The Agni missile family encompasses short to long-range surface-to-surface ballistic missiles, including:
    • Agni I: Short-range ballistic missile (700-1200 km)
    • Agni II: Medium-range ballistic missile (2000-3500 km)
    • Agni III: Intermediate-range ballistic missile (3000-5000 km)
    • Agni IV: Intermediate-range ballistic missile (3500-4000 km)
    • Agni V: Intercontinental ballistic missile (5500-8000 km)
  • Agni-V’s MIRV Capability:
    • India’s Agni-V, developed by DRDO, is equipped with MIRV technology, enabling it to independently target multiple locations.
    • With a range exceeding 5000 km, Agni-V is classified as a long-range missile and serves as a deterrent against potential threats, particularly from China.
    • India announced the development of Agni-V in 2007, with its maiden flight test conducted in April 2012.