Sheena Rani: Meet The ‘Nari Shakti’ Behind India’s Deadliest Weapon Agni-V MIRV

Bhubaneswar: The proud entry of India into the select group of nations with Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle or MIRV technology with the first flight test of Mission Divyastra was spearheaded by missile expert R Sheena Rani.


The first successful flight test of the indigenously-developed Agni-V missile with MIRV technology was carried out by DRDO on March 11 from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast.

The 57-year-old Rani, a Thiruvananthapuram native, is a scientist at the Advanced Systems Laboratory of the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) in Hyderabad.

According to reports, she studied at the College of Engineering in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Trained in electronics and communications engineering with expertise in computer science, the Indian genius worked for eight years at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), India’s foremost civilian rocketry lab. Post Pokhran Nuclear test in 1998, Rani moved to the DRDO as a lateral entry. Rani has been working on the launch control systems for the entire Agni series of missiles since 1999. Her work involves checking and ensuring the overall health of missiles before their launch.

With a range of up to 5,000 km, the Agni-V missile can bring almost the entire Asia including the northernmost part of China as well as some regions in Europe under its striking range.

Though several Agni variants have been developed and inducted into the forces under the missile programme, the new MIRV technology is considered Rani’s crowning glory, as she put her heart and soul into developing it with her DRDO team, which also includes several other women scientists. “I am really proud of being part of the Agni missile programme as the missiles are safeguarding the nation’s borders,” she said in a media interview earlier.

Rani has won several awards during her tenure at the DRDO, including the prestigious “Scientist of the Year” award in 2016.


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