Multiple re-entry vehicle technology successfully tested on Agni-5 missile


The Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the successful test-firing of Agni-5 ballistic missile with Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) under Mission Divyastra.


GS-03 (Security)

About Agni-5:

  • It is a Land-based Nuclear-capable ICBM developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India.
    • An Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is a ballistic missile with a range greater than 5,500 kilometres (3,400 mi), primarily designed for nuclear weapons delivery.
    • Conventional, chemical, and biological weapons can also be delivered with varying effectiveness.
  • The missile has a range of >7,000 Km.
  • It is a Three-stage, Road-mobile, Canisterised, Solid-fueled Ballistic Missile.
  • Development:
    • Agni V is primarily for enhancing India’s nuclear deterrence against China.
    • The missile was designed to be easy to transport by road, through the utilization of a canister-launch missile system, which is distinct from those of the earlier Agni missiles

Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV)

  • A multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) is an exoatmospheric ballistic missile payload containing several warheads, each capable of being aimed to hit a different target.
  • Only the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, India and Pakistan are currently confirmed to have deployed MIRV missile systems.
  • Israel is suspected to possess or be in the process of developing MIRVs.
  • Applicability: The introduction of MIRV led to a major change in the strategic balance. Previously, with one warhead per missile, it was conceivable that one could build a defense that used missiles to attack individual warheads. Any increase in missile fleet by the enemy could be countered by a similar increase in interceptors.
  • With MIRV, a single new enemy missile meant that multiple interceptors would have to be built, meaning that it was much less expensive to increase the attack than the defense.