Missile Man and former President APJ Abdul Kalam’s dream project Prithvi will now be replaced by Agni series and other missiles. Prithvi, India’s first indigenous ballistic missile, has served more than its intended use and will now be phased out.
The new Agni series will include Agni-1 (700 km), Agni-2 (2,000 km), Agni-3 (3,000 km), Agni-4 (4,000 km). Agni -5 is expected to have the longest striking range of 5,000 km.
Sources in the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) say that Agni-1 will be used to shoot targets at a range of 220 km. The Prithvi series would strike targets at a distance between 150 to 350 km.
While Agni-1 was to be replaced by another ballistic missile Prahar (with a striking range of 150 km), the idea was rejected by users, fearing that such a short-range missile could trigger a nuclear war. The enemy might panic at the sight of a ballistic missile of a short-range and could launch a nuclear attack in retaliation.
However, while the missile has been rejected by the Army, it has attracted a few countries who are now approaching India to export them.
With the Agni series and cruise missile BrahMos, India can now take care of targets between 30 to 5,000 kms. The BrahMos can take down targets from 30 to 300kms while the Agni can take care of the ranges beyond that.