Agni-V, India's most powerful ballistic missile with a strike range of over 5,000 kms, is set to get substantially higher destruction capabilities as the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) plans to equip it with multiple warheads.
Comparing Agni-V missile to the best in the world, DRDO chief Dr VK Saraswat said, "It is a game changer missile... It has taken the missile technology to the highest level and matches with the best and the current world standards. We are working in this area. It will take time for us to develop but our work is on."
Known as the Multiple Independently Targeted Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV), the missile would be capable of carrying multiple warheads to destroy several targets.
Asked about the plans in that regard, he said, "Basic vehicle (missile) will remain the same. The first three stages will also remain the same and only the kill vehicle or the payload delivery system will need changes."
Terming it as a "force multiplier", the DRDO chief said, "If I am able to do force multiplication with this... where I was using four missiles, I may use only one missile. So it becomes a force multiplier given the damage potential."
Such a capability exists only with a select few countries such as the US, Russia and China.
MIRV missiles are equipped with small on-board rocket motors and computerised inertial guidance system which manoeuvres warheads to several different trajectories.