It was conceived by Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to enable India attain self-sufficiency in field of missile technology. It was approved by Government of India in 1983 and completed in March 2012.
The 5 missiles (P-A-T-N-A) developed under this program are:
Prithvi: Short range surface to surface ballistic missile.
Agni: Ballistic missiles with different ranges, i.e. Agni (1,2,3,4,5)
Trishul: Short range low level surface to air missile.
Nag: 3rd generation anti-tank missile.
Akash: Medium range surface to air missile.
Canister based launch system- serves as a container for transportation; a housing during storage aboard a vessel; provides operational flexibility.
A canister launch system can be either hot launch, where the missile ignites in the cell, or cold launch, where the missile is expelled by gas produced by a gas generator which is not part of the missile itself, and then the missile ignites.
Cold launch is safer than hot launch as the ejection system will eject the missile by itself even if there is a missile failure. In case of Agni V, it will be a cold launch.
In case of hot launches the problem is the heat produced by the missile at the time of launch. The hot launch is better for small missiles as the ejection part itself will be done by using missiles own engine.
In addition to this technology, India is also working to master the Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology which is also considered as India’s technological solution for Minimum Nuclear Deterrence.
The fundamental characteristic of deploying MIRVs is its ability to deliver several warheads along separate trajectories, which confers it flexibility of multiple targeting.