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Agni-III Could Be Modified For Use As Anti-Satellite Weapon

An anti-satellite missile that can put in the leaage of countries
like the US and China is feasible with Agni III intergrated with a
satellite kill vehicle, according to DRDO Chief and Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister V K Saraswat.

Delivering a lecture on ‘DRDO, the Challenges Ahead’ at Air Marshal Y V
Malse Memorial Lecture at the University of Pune, Saraswat said,
“Developing such a missile is feasible if Agni III and BMD (ballistic
Missile Defence) kill vehicle are integrated. The effective range, which
is about 1400-1500 km, is sufficient to engage a satellite.”

Air Chief Marshal (Retd) P V Naik and Air Marshal (Retd) Bhushan Gokhale were also present on the occasion.

India has been reportedly developing an exo-atmospheric kill vehicle
that can be integrated with the missile to engage satellites. Only the
US, Russia and China have developed such anti-satellite weapon.

During the 90-minute lecture, Saraswat touched upon a number of issues pertaining to DRDO and defence production in general. After
the failure of Kaveri engine for India’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)
Tejas, which is fitted with GE 404/ 414 engines, Saraswat said there was
the need to start yet another programme for development of a new engine
for the ongoing Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA). “While upgrade
of Kaveri engine can continue, a new engine with variable cycle can be
developed for AMCA,” he said, adding, “If we as nation are able to
operationalise AMCA by 2030, we will be doing fairly good as far as IAF
aircraft inventory is concerned.”

AMCA, being developed by HAL, is expected to fit between MMRCA and
LCA. “Advanced integrated controls, reduced infrared signatures,
advanced avionics, stealth materials such as radar absorbing paint,
advanced composites and hypersonic materials are some areas that need
further development. Further, production facilities at HAL also need to
go hand in hand for which an upgrade is required at HAL,” he said.

He also spoke about a number of futuristic developments required in the
era of cyber/ network centric warfare. “The idea of solar powered
aircraft should have occurred to us. The development of such aircraft
has certain challenges like development of avionic sensors, energy
consumption-to-collection ratio, geographic areas of operation, weather
and so on,” he said.

Pressing for a cyber command, Saraswat said a lot needs to be done on
combating Nuclear Biological Chemical (NBC) warfare, Low Intensity
Conflict (LIC), Information Security, composites and so on. “Time has
come to introduce a programme for aerostats,” he said adding, “An
investment of Rs 300 crore per year is needed if we have to be