In a first for India’s strategic deterrent programme, the DRDO will be working hard to test, operationalise and induct the Agni-IV and Agni-V in to service within the next 24 months. Never before have two missiles with a combined range in excess of 10,000 km been slated for entry into service together with the country’s Strategic Forces Command. The SFC’s land-based deterrent currently includes the Agni-I, II and III, accounting for ranges between 750-3,500 km.
With the entry of the Agni-IV and V, India will have missiles with ranges out to 7,000 km, covering the country’s deterrence needs from a land perspective for the first time. The Agni-IV, with a range of 4,000 km has been tested twice (in 2011 and 2012), while the Agni V, with a range in excess of 7,000 km has been tested once, in April 2012. A second test of the Agni-V is expected this year. The next phase of development, which may include an extended-range Agni-V (unofficially the Agni-VI), will include manoeuvering warheads, decoy-warhead permutation configurations and MIRV.