It is rather a pity that while advanced countries are removing their long and short range missiles from their borders third world countries are making efforts to acquire or manufacture them. India is no exception to it. With Pakistan and China as her neighbours who attacked India three times in the past it has become obligatory for her to strengthen her defenses. Acquiring perfection in the manufacture of missiles is a part of her defense strategy.

Since short range missiles are being supplied to the militants in Jammu and Kashmir Indian Ordnance factories have not lagged behind in supplying these to the armed forces. But in case a war breaks out or even if a cold war continues as it does in the Kashmir valley it becomes necessary to have medium range missiles that may be effective in an area of 20 to 30 kilometers. The first test in this direction was done in 1988 with Trishul’. It was at an early experimental stage and was followed by ‘Akash’. It was a medium range surface-to-air missile. It was launched at Chandipur Orissa, in 1990 and has a range of 25 kilometers. It is rather a good achievement and is expected to be manufactured commercially in the ordnance factories.

India gave a fitting reply to Pakistan in the 1965 war by breaking her dream of tank superiority. There were no anti tank missiles with India. The need was long felt. Nag1 the first anti tank missile was suc­cessfully test fired on November 29, 1990 from Test Range at Chandipur. It has an attack range of 4 kms. It can be launched from land based missile carriers. It can also be launched from helicopters. The middle range missile was not the answer to our defence needs.

We should be in a position to give an apt reply to the evil designs of Pakistan and to the changing strategic of China. It became necessary to cover the remotest parts of Pakistan and the strategic areas of China through the development of long range missiles. Our scientists developed ‘Prithvi’ the surface-to-surface missile. It has a range of 300 kms and is an accurate up to a range of 500 meters.

A surface-to-surface missile alone is not sufficient. We required an Intermediate range Ballistic missile. It is a missile that can be launched from its earth base to boom in the atmosphere. Bouncing back to earth it attacks its target. The 19 meter tall missile has the capacity of carrying a 2.5 tones high explosive warhead or a light nuclear one too. Its range varies from 1500 kilometers to 2500 kilometers. It depends upon its pay-load. It bounces back at a speed of 2.5 kilometers per second – eight times the speed of sound.

Besides the western powers India has some other competitors in IRBM. China Possessed 125 having a range between 2000 and 4000 kilometers. Israel too has perfected one with range of 1450 kms. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, Iraq and Pakistan are other Afroasian countries that have developed IRBMs. The Indian Air Chief has declared that ‘Agni’ would be under the control of Indian Air Force. India’s another achieve­ment is Nishant a remotely piloted aero plane. It is controlled as we con­trol a T. V. set with remote controller. It is meant for surveying strategical points. It files for near about 5 hours with a speed of 150 kmph.

Pinaka is another great achievement. It is a multi-barrel rocket system. It has 12 solid rockets targeted at the same time. It has a range of 40 km. It is loaded on a TATRA8-wheeled truck and can shoot one or all the rockets in less than a minute.

There is a continuous war like situation on Siachen Glacier (be­tween Indian and Pakistan). Besides Cheetah, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. have built Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH). It was successfully landed on the Glacier with a payload of 750 kgs.

Rajendra is the Phased Army Radar to give support to Akash and Nag. It can track 100 targets at a time.

With apprehension from our neighbours India just cannot afford to take the risk stopping at a stage already achieved by them. Unless there is an understanding like that in G 7 or EEC countries this sheer wastage will continue in the third world countries.