Broadsword articles stirs up China: Agni-5 creates ripples - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Friday 16 October 2009

Broadsword articles stirs up China: Agni-5 creates ripples

Photo: A graphic, taken from a Pakistani blog, highlighting China's range of missile options to an Agni-5 strike

An article by me, published in Business Standard and posted on Broadsword on 12th Oct, has been picked up by the Chinese media, apparently to highlight growing Indian offensive capability. People's Daily online says:

"India's Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL) has made its forthcoming Agni-5 missile highly road-mobile, or easily transportable by road, which would bring Harbin, China's northernmost city within striking range if the Agni-5 is moved to northeast India.

The Agni-5 is similar to the Dongfeng-31A presented in China's National Day Military Parade in Beijing . India is going to test-fire the missile in early 2011.

The ASL, which develops India's long-range, nuclear-tipped missiles, enables the Agni-5 to reach targets far beyond its stated 5,000-km range by quickly moving closer to the target. Therefore, from various places across India, the Agni-5 can reach every continent except North and South America."


  1. Nek kaam mein bade vighn aate hain. Log to nazar na lage isliye kaam khatam hone se pehle kuchh bolte bhi nahin. How smart was it to announce before finish? Others unveil products, we unveil commencement process. Sigh.
    2 years is not too far away. Couldn't you(as in drdo and media) waited to announce this?

  2. Good psy ops but I am sure Chinis are not losing much sleep over it.

  3. Ajai ji, What do you say about this article?

    Pentagon ramps up direct military aid to Pakistan

    USA again arming Pakistan with latest weapons in the name of WoT. They did same prior to 1965 war. Now they are doing the same. Can Pakistan control itself after getting all these advanced weapons?

  4. Good catch Ajaiji. I also read the article from PRC daily. This 'daily' said to be a mouth piece of CPC. We really need a 5500 km missile like Agni-5. Good article. Thanks again.

  5. You're a powerful man Ajai :-) One routine article in a magazine and the Chinese got concerned and splashed it all over


  7. Ajai that image is not from any Paki blog but from U.S DOD. Those guys study Chinese military capability each and every year and release some documents name something like ''China's military modernization'' or something, in which complete details of known Chinese capability will be described.

    Also Ajai, I would like to correct you. The Agni-V if it's range is the so called 5000 km then let me tell you that even if the missile is placed near Amritsar, it cannot reach anywhere near the western parts of Europe. I wish they will put the number at 6000km rather than at 5000.

  8. yaa its true when i saw the news tht the info picked up by chinese media was exactly the same as used by you sir........though i think if u see it logically agni 5 would not be something totally surprising because if india can geosynchronous satellites with pin point precision it shudnt be tht hard to make ICBMs..........wat do u think sir?

  9. yaa its true when i saw the news tht the info picked up by chinese media was exactly the same as used by you sir........though i think if u see it logically agni 5 would not be something totally surprising because if india can geosynchronous satellites with pin point precision it shudnt be tht hard to make ICBMs..........wat do u think sir?

  10. For the Anon above,
    5000 KM is what "offical" range with 1.5 tonne payload.
    Have a guess what might be the range with 1 tonne payload? Will it be atleast 6000KM ?

    Physics is same for all.

    It makes sense to declare only 5000KM as you don't want to make Europe your enemy,since they are not.

  11. Ajay congratulations for creating ripples in china media :) :)... how ever agni 5 is not even developed fully... i feel this is too early for our indias to showcase to media as china has got a matured product in hand

  12. Hey Ajai
    Nice article. Mao once said that he doesn't care even if half of China is destroyed in a nuclear attack. He never stood in any election. But that's the kind of mentality we are dealing with. The same can be said about Pakistani mentality. Agni 5 is a must.

    Your blog is basically talks about military hardware. What about the armed forces personnel. I recently watching a talk show which was interview army officers who have opted out. They complain that the army is severely short of officers and as a result everyone has to multitask and it puts in immense strain. Can u throw some light on that.

  13. Hi Ajai
    Adding to my earlier point, after the Mumbai attacks NSG hubs wud be set up in Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai. More such hubs are planned. The men required wud be drawn from the millitary only and wud thus put further strain on the resources.

    Moreover, as I understand hubs wud be established in virtually every state capital. NSG is supposed to contain the best men and so many hubs wud actually mean dilution of quality.

    It is just like having so many IIT's and IIM's - all of them can't be the same. There will some dilution of quality.

    How much strain is this supposed to put on Indian Army.

  14. I posted this on the BRF Missile tech thread on Oct 12. (Pg 23)

    A casual look at the wikimapia and measure tool tells me that, a 9200 Km range will enable a missile to deliver love and affection from appropriate location within India to the farthest reaches of Eurasia, africa and australia. New Zealand, which so ingeniously initially dragged its feet on support to India at the NSG will need a 10,200 Km range when the A&N islands are used as the kick off point.

    WRT the Agni-5, the payload will be said to be ~1500 - 2500Kgs for a 5500 or a 6000 Km range. If we assume the range of A-3 as per the charts prepared by 'the one who can't be named' for a 500kg payload, the A-3 can do most of this.
    The A-5 should be able to easily do 10,000Km actually, this at the same time as having physical and electronic decoys, ability to survive EMP, use laser ring gyros, sat navigation and star sensors for accurate targetting, in addition to having a maneuvering RV, and finally a CEP that'll make any jingo ecstatic.
    This should be a phenomenal system by any accounts and will rank amongst the top 4 missile systems in the world today, entirely in the league of the Trident D5, Minuteman-3, Topol, DF-31As (Although I would consider the A-5 to be more advanced than the chinese missile and the Minuteman-3)

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