India test-fires Agni-V ballistic missile

New Delhi: India on Thursday successfully test fired a nuclear-capable Agni-V ballistic missile having a range of over 5,000 km, marking a significant boost to the country’s strategic deterrence.

The night-trials came a few days after Chinese soldiers indulged in a brawl with Indian soldiers at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Arunachal Pradesh. Several Chinese soldiers were injured in the incident, but none of the armies reported any deaths.

Existing variant Agni IV is capable of hitting targets at a range of 4,000 km while Agni-III has a range of 3,000-km, and Agni II can fly up to 2,000-km.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said the missile was fired Thursday from Abdul Kalam Island in eastern Odisha state. “The missile will add great value to the defense and strengthen national security to a greater extent,” Joshi tweeted, citing its range of 5,400 kilometers or more.

Agni-5 is an ingeniously built advanced surface-to-surface ballistic missile developed under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP). It is a fire-and-forget missile, which cannot be stopped without an interceptor missile.

The sources said that the test validated a number of critical aspects of the weapon.

Last year, China raised concerns regarding India’s launch of an Agni-5 intercontinental ballistic missile citing a resolution of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) 1172. The resolution was issued after India’s 1998 nuclear tests.

India has been steadily enhancing its overall military might in the last couple of years.

It has carried out successful tests of a number of missiles during the period. In May, the extended range version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was test-fired from a Sukhoi fighter jet. In June, India successfully carried out a night launch of the nuclear-capable Agni-4 ballistic missile, in a boost to India’s military capabilities.

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