India successfully conducts night trial of nuclear-capable Agni-V ballistic missile
India successfully conducted the night trial of the nuclear-capable Agni-V ballistic missile on Thursday which can strike targets as far as 5,400 km with a very high degree of accuracy. The Defence Ministry said the test was aimed at validating new technologies and equipment on the missile, which is now lighter and can hit targets even further away than before.
Why does this story matter?
- The test is being seen against the backdrop of last week's clash between Indian and Chinese troops along the de facto border in Arunachal Pradesh, in which soldiers from both sides sustained minor injuries.
- However, the trial had been planned and scheduled earlier.
- Agni-V boosts India's nuclear deterrence against China, which reportedly has missiles like Dongfeng-41 with a 12,000-15,000 km range.
India issued a NOTAM before border clash
The test was carried out from Dr. Abdul Kalam Island, off the coast of Odisha. India had earlier announced the test by issuing a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) before the border clash. The Defence Ministry said the trial proved that, if needed, the range of the missile could be enhanced. All the trials of Agni-V have been conducted successfully.
Developed in 2007, first tested in 2012
Developed in 2007 as India's first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), Agni-V was first tested in 2012 and this test was its ninth flight. It comes under the authority of the Strategic Forces Command, a part of India's Nuclear Command Authority (NCA). A striking range of 5,400 km brings almost the entire Asia, including northernmost China, and some parts of Europe within its reach.
Only 7 countries known to have ICBMs
Russia, the United States, China, France, India, the United Kingdom, and North Korea are the only countries known to possess functional ICBMs. India currently has Agni-I with a 700 km range, Agni-II with a 2,000 km range, and Agni-III and Agni-IV with a 2,500 km to over 3,500 km range, respectively. Earlier, Beijing said they believed its range to be 8,000 km.
Illuminated object in eastern Indian sky suspected as UFO, Agni-V
This flare in Bengal's night sky today has spurred debate. Some say, it's Agni V missile, but trajectory is opposite to the sea. Surely, our scientists won't play with civilian lives as any failure would mean burning projectiles dropping in populated areas. Can it be asteroids? pic.twitter.com/r2zRP9wQv4— Seema Sengupta, (@SeemaSengupta5) December 15, 2022