Friday, November 19, 2010

India Made Shourya Missile And Agni-2 Missile Ballistic System

Shourya Missile And Agni-2 Missile Ballistice Missile

Shourya1 and Sagarika is a new common missile that can be launched from multiple platforms viz. ground,
submarine and mobile launcher. Naval version is called Sagarika while the land based version is called
Shourya. Indian doctrine of Minimum Credible Nuclear Deterrence envisages "No First Use" (NFU) policy and a triad of nuclear counterstrike capability.

The land based Agni-2 missile range is limited to about 3,300 Km, and the longer range Agni-3 will enter service soon. The sea leg of the triad based on blue water naval assets dispersed across the world's oceans is
most survivable thus a critical part of the triad. The ability to reach all corners of a potential challenger requires a range of 5,000 to 8,000 km. DRDO is developing sub surface launched long range Agni-3SL with heavy MIRV payload and ABM countermeasures.

Indian nuclear powered ATV due for sea trial in 2009 will reportedly carry 12 launch tubes2 of 2.4m diameter. Launch tubes can be flexibly configured to either carry a 2 meter diameter Agni-3SL or three wooden rounds3 of 0.74m diameter K15-Sagarika missile. Shourya and Sagarika fills the short to medium range gap that is below Agni-III’s minimum range. At operational level these missiles provide for range of warheads necessary for graduated nuclear escalation as enunciated by Indian staff and military warfare collages4.

This multifunction missile made in large quantities would fulfill India's immediate requirements. The missile optimally matches latest types of strategic weapons tested at Pokhran-II in 1998. The missile will most likely take over the strategic weapons role of Prithvi and Agni-1 missiles, and make them unambiguously dedicated for conventional roles thus stabilizing nuclear deterrence.

Shourya and its counterpart Sagarika has been tested 6 times 5 till date. The missile is expected to enter service in 2010. Sagarika will be deployed on submarines and very likely on ‘Sukanya’ class naval vessels too.


Shourya is a compact, slender, two-stage, solid fuel missile designed as a wooden round. The missile development was initiated as project K15 and was first flight tested6 on 27 October 2004 in the guise of solid
fueled Prithvi-III7. It is stored, deployed and launched in a fiberglass composite canister, which is easy to
handle, mobile and can be flexibly deployed on different types of surface and sub-surface platforms.

Shourya and Sagarika share a common design. The missile is sealed and can be launched from a moving submarine at 50 meter depth. The 6.2 tonne Shourya is 10 meters long, and has two solid fuel stages of 0.74 meters diameter. The first stage booster is about two meters long and the second about six meters long.

The missile supports a range of unitary warhead configurations, weighing 180 to 1,000 kg. High missile accuracy and ability to fly in a highly depressed trajectory well within atmosphere indicates it is a weapon of choice to interdict Command & Control (C&C) and preemptive tactics.

The sixth test flight on November 12th, 2008 was a depressed trajectory flight (at Mach 6 and 50km altitude) with continuous rolling to dissipate heat over a larger surface demonstrated mastery of difficult aspects of rocketry involving sustained hypersonic flight. The wooden round design sealed in a fiber glass canister with the aero fins folded inside in a clean & controlled environment makes it maintenance free and tamper proof.

The missile is launched by a hot gas generator developing 15-200 bar pressure using high burn rate HTBP based composite propellant. The thick dark gas cloud greatly reduces the thermal signature of the missile.

Once out of the launch tube the first stage booster motor ignites taking the missile to 5Km altitude when the main second stage motor takes over. The booster debris reaches a maximum altitude of 6 km, well below the horizon of radars beyond 330 km. The clean and small diameter missile presents a tiny RCS (radar cross-section). The second stage air fins provide necessary in-flight trajectory control. The main motor is typically expended at 33 km altitude well within the atmosphere; however the air fins remain effective beyond post boost phase.

The air fins also allow the missile to fly in a depressed trajectory as well as cruise and glide in sustained hypersonic regime at 50 km altitude. The payload separation can be done much later after exploiting aerodynamics for trajectory modification during ascent or descent. The missile is resistant to ABM defense.


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