Indian defence researchers' latest success, Agni-4 nuclear-capable strategic missile, will make its debut for public display during this year's Republic Day parade down Rajpath on January 26, when President Pratibha Patil will take the salute from the nation's armed forces.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will be fielding the Agni-4 during this year's Republic Day parade, according to DRDO spokesperson Ravi Kumar Gupta.
The DRDO contingent will be led by Lt. Col. V.S. Thapa. The DRDO will also showcase Prahaar missile, the new tactical battlefield support high-speed weapon, apart from the Rustom-1 Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, Gupta added.
Considered the most potent and technologically advanced in India's ballistic strategic missile arsenal, Agni-4 will add a new dimension to the country's capabilities in terms of nuclear deterrence for peace and security in the region, based on its avowed stated no-first-strike policy.
Capable of being fired from a self-contained road mobile launcher, the two-stage solid-propulsion surface-to-surface missile can reach targets 3,500 km away, which would mean it can hit targets in all of Pakistan and most part of Southern China.
Agni-4 is considered a quantum leap in indigenous technology, incorporating a composite rocket motor casing, a highly accurate guidance and navigation system, modern and compact avionics, digital control system and many other contemporary and advanced technologies, making it comparable to the best in the world.
The other missile on display at the parade this time, Prahaar, is a marvel of technology developed by DRDO. It is a tactical battlefield support missile based on solid fuel propulsion and is equipped with high precision inertial navigation system, giving it capability to hit targets around 150 km away with pin-point accuracy.
The missile is mounted on a road mobile launcher, carries a significant payload and can be equipped with a variety of warheads. Each high mobility launcher carries six missiles and multiple launchers can be interlinked to deliver a near simultaneous multi-axis attack on a target with devastating effect.
MALE UAV Rustom-1 -- meant for surveillance and reconnaissance -- can take-off and land like a conventional aircraft, but has an external pilot standing close to the runway exercising the UAV to take-off and land, but later hands over control to an internal pilot operating from the ground control station for carrying out rest of the mission. A payload operator controls the various payloads from ground control station to capture essential video pictures and data.
With an endurance of 12 to 15 hours, Rustom-1 can fly at speeds up to 250 km per hour. It is intended other uses are target acquisition, fire correction and battlefield damage assessment.
The UAV is likely to be inducted in the three wings of the armed forces and internal security organisations such as the state police forces, Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force and Coast Guard soon.