Agni V production to start this year: DRDO chief

New Delhi: India has emerged as a major missile power with the successful launch of Agni V ballistic missile and the production of the weapon system would start in a year`s time, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief V K Saraswat said today.

"This launch has given a message to the entire world that India has the capability to design, develop, build and manufacture missiles of this class, and we are today a missile power," Saraswat said after the launch of the 5000 km range surface-to-surface Inter Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM).

The DRDO chief said that the missile launch was a major milestone in the strategic defence preparedness of the country. "We are going to conduct two more tests and that will be validation tests…, and then the production of this system will start. It is going to take an year maximum," he said.

Saraswat said that he expected the missile to be inducted into the armed forces in the next two years. He said the successful launch of Agni V was just the beginning of a new series of missiles.

"We go from here to many other missiles which will have capability for MIRV (Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle), for anti-satellite system, which will also be built using this technology for launching micro, mini and nano satellite to meet the requirement of the armed forces on very, very short notice," he said.

Saraswat said that barring some electronic components, the Agni V was a completely indigenous product.

"More than 80 per cent of the missile is indigenous, except for the electronic components which we import… Everything has been designed, developed and produced in our industry and our laboratory," he said.

The DRDO chief said that his organisation was working on a very tight time schedule when it came to production and deployment of the missile.

"We have a very tight time schedule on that. I expect that after the completion of its mandatory trials, it would be inducted in the services in the next two years to come. We have a very clear roadmap for development of missile system," Saraswat said.