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MIRV technology successfully tested on Agni-5 Missile

Why is it in the news?

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the successful testing of an Agni missile equipped with MIRV technology, known as Mission Divyastra.
  • The test was conducted from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha, India’s integrated missile test range.


About Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology

  • The MIRV technology allows multiple warheads to be loaded on a single missile delivery system.
  • MIRV capability enhances the missile’s destructive potential by allowing multiple warheads to hit different targets or the same location sequentially.
  • India’s adoption of MIRV marks a significant upgrade in its missile systems and expands its nuclear options.
  • MIRV technology was first developed in the 1960s and deployed by the US and Soviet Union in the 1970s. Over time, France, the UK, China, and Pakistan have also developed MIRV-equipped missiles.
  • MIRV-equipped missiles like India’s Agni-V can carry multiple warheads, with the tested version capable of carrying three to four warheads.
  • Further, miniaturized warheads with independent guidance and navigation controls are released sequentially from the delivery system.


Advantages of MIRV

  • Enables simultaneous strikes at multiple locations, inflicting significant damage on the enemy.
  • Renders traditional missile defence systems ineffective due to the complexity of tracking and intercepting multiple warheads with independent trajectories.
  • Enhances deterrence capabilities for countries like India with a no-first-use policy by allowing for a disproportionate response strike.

Significance of MIRV

  • The integration of MIRV technology represents a long-awaited upgrade for India’s Agni missile family, which serves as the main land-based delivery system for its nuclear weapons.
  • Agni-V, equipped with MIRV, can travel over 5,000 km and potentially enter the intercontinental range, expanding India’s strategic reach.
  • India’s acquisition of MIRV technology was anticipated following China’s development in the last decade and Pakistan’s claims of testing MIRV-equipped missiles.
  • The development aligns with India’s efforts to modernize its missile capabilities and maintain strategic parity in the region.

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