|Place of origin||India|
|Designer||Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)|
|Manufacturer||Bharat Dynamics Limited|
|Weight||55,000 - 70,000 kg|
|Length||20 - 40.00 m|
|Warhead weight||3 tonnes|
|Engine||Four Stage Solid Fuelled|
|8,000–12,000 kilometres (4,971–7,456 mi)|
|Inertial navigation system with Ring laser gyroscope, optionally augmented by IRNSS. Terminal guidance with possible radar scene correlation|
|8 x 8 Tatra TEL and rail mobile launcher (canisterised missile package) (Land-based Version)
Arihant Class submarine (SLBM version-K6)
|Transport||Road or rail mobile (land-based variant)
Submarine (sea-based variant)
Agni-VI will be a four-stage intercontinental ballistic missile, which is in the hardware development phase, after its design phase was completed. Agni-VI is expected to have Multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle as well as Maneuverable reentry vehicle(MaRV). And these maneuverable warheads will give Agni VI an extended range exact figure of which is currently classified. It will be taller than its predecessor Agni V, and is expected to be flight tested by 2017. The government of India is yet to approve the project, although DRDO has completed all calculations and started the engineering work.
It is reported to be the latest and most advanced version among the Agni missiles. According to sources, Agni-VI missile is likely to carry up to 10 MIRV warheads and will have a strike range of 8,000 km to 12,000 km, though DRDO has refused to confirm the missile's range. A senior DRDO scientist was quoted as saying that the new generation Agni-VI missile will be sleeker, easily transportable and would be readily deployed. It will have the capability to be launched from submarine and from land-based launchers.
Opacity regarding the development
Till 2009, it was reported that the Government of India had not considered the development of an ICBM with a range of 10,000 km or above. Speculations of an ongoing program for a longer range ICBM resurfaced in 2011. Some reports claimed that the ICBM is already named "Surya" and code named AGNI-VI.[not in citation given]
Other reports suggested that New Delhi had not given serious weight to the necessity for an ICBM. DRDO can take up a project to develop India’s ICBM only after permission from the government of India. Since India was not a signatory  to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) until 27 June 2016, the Indian missile program was not limited by any treaty commitment to cap the development of ICBM capability. Some media reports had occasionally suggested that, despite India being a non-signatory to MTCR, there is a voluntary moratorium on developing missiles beyond the range of 5,000 km.(India is member of MTCR as of 2016 June) MTCR does not prevent India from developing missiles beyond 5,000 km. MTCR prevents transfer of technology to a different state which will lead to proliferation. The treaty does not differentiate between MTCR signatories and non-MTCR signatories, with respect transfer of technology, or components. However, there is a legal argument that transfer to an MTCR signatory does not lead to proliferation. Technology stays within the MTCR signatories, and export control prevents non-MTCR signatories from obtaining the technology. For example, U.S. domestic law differentiates between technology transfers or exports to MTCR signatories and non-MTCR signatories.
Indian Air Chief's allusion to a longer range ICBM
In June 2011, for the very first time then IAF Chief Marshal Pradeep Vasant Naik vehemently argued in favour of broadening India's nuclear strike capabilities beyond the immediate neighbourhood. Naik, who was also the head of the Chiefs of Staff committee, stated that, "India should pursue an ICBM programme to acquire ranges of 10,000 km or even more. Breaking out of the regional context is important as the country's sphere of influence grows. We have no territorial designs on any country, but India needs the capability to match its sphere of influence."
Doubts about viability
In October 2011, a report published by The Pioneer raised doubts about DRDO's ability to independently develop the "seeker technology" (guidance technology) eligible for ICBMs, that could enable the missile to traverse long distances in excess of 10,000 km. The same report also asserted Russia's willingness to provide India with help in the field of "seeker technology". The authenticity of the pioneer report is disputed by at least one foreign newspaper, with the counter-claim that the involvement of Russia is probably inflated out of proportion, because if the report about Russian involvement is true, Russia may be suspected of violating the Missile Technology Control Regime. In response to the scepticism, a top DRDO scientist asserted that India has all the equipment and technology needed to develop ICBMs, "but where the warhead should go or what the range should be will have to be a political call."
Confirmation of the programme
On 20 June 2011, Indian Defence News published an article titled India Serious About 10,000 km ICBM which stated that India is seriously contemplating to enhance the reach of its strategic missiles and that the Ministry of Defense is considering a DRDO proposal to develop intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of hitting targets 10,000 km away. Building an ICBM has international ramifications and the ultimate decision to go ahead with the proposal would be taken by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).
In May 2012, reports confirmed the development of another ICBM in the Agni series, a three-stage Agni VI missile. It was purported that the missile will be developed in 2014 or so and will have an even longer range, up to 8,000 km to 10,000 km. The Agni VI will be sleeker than the Agni-V and capable of carrying at least 10 nuclear warheads, capable of targeting multiple targets at the same time. In January 2013, DRDO chief V K Saraswat said that after the development of Agni V, DRDO will develop Agni VI, which will have Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) capability. He said that the missile design has been completed and DRDO is in the hardware realisation phase. Agni VI, the new multi-target missile under development, will serve as a ‘force multiplier’, Defence Research and Development Organisation chief V.K. Saraswat said on 9 February 2013.
The SLBM version of missile will arm the Arihant class submarines of the Indian Navy. DRDO revealed in 2012 that it is also in the process of developing another variant of Agni-VI missile. This will be a submarine-launched solid-fuel missile with a maximum range of 6,000 kilometres and a payload of three tonne.
- Related development
- Related lists
- "Agni-VI with 12000 km range to be ready by 2014". IBNLive. 24 May 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- Subramanian, T. S. (4 February 2013). "Agni-VI all set to take shape". The Hindu. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
- O'Donnell, Frank. "Managing India's Missile Aspirations". Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- Shukla, Ajai. "Advanced Agni-6 missile with multiple warheads likely by 2017". Business Standard. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- Jatinder Kaur Tur (27 May 2012). "India will launch Agni VI next, says DRDO chief". Deccanchronicle. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- Prerna Singh, edited by Atul Kohli (2010). Routledge handbook of Indian politics. London: Routledge. p. 345. ISBN 0415776856.
- "Get ready for Agni-VI, which can deliver 4 to 6 warheads 12000 km away". India TV. 4 February 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
- "Agni-V with China in range tested; next in line is Agni-VI, with multiple warheads".
- "DRDO developing missile capable of carrying multiple warheads". Zee News. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
- "SURYA Missile".
- Courtesy, The Pioneer (20 June 2011). "India Serious About 10,000 km ICBM". Indian Defence News. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
- "India's need for an ICBM". Center For Land Warfare Studies. 5 July 2011. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
- "Air chief PV Naik in favour of flexing missile power".
- "With Russian help, India to join ICBM big league soon". Dailypioneer. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012.
- Administrator (2011-10-10). "Indian media said Russia will provide for the Indian Agni-5 intercontinental missile guidance technology". Military of China, force comment. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
- "Agni V can launch mini-satellites too". Deccan Herald. 20 April 2012.
- "India working on Agni-VI missile, to be in world's elite nuclear club". The Indian Express. 8 February 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
- "India developing Agni-VI ballistic missile". News Bulletin. 8 February 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
- "DRDO Lab Develops Detonator for Nuclear Capable Agni-V Missile As It Gets Ready For Launch". defencenow. 17 January 2012.