India's deterrence capability
- The Agni-IV and Agni-V are meant for deterrence against China, which can target any Indian city by virtue of its inventory of long-range ballistic missiles.
- For true deterrence against China, India need a 7000 km plus missile, roughly the distance from India's southernmost point to China's northernmost point.
- India will also have submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) capability once the nuclear-powered INS Arihant becomes operational.
The Agni-IV's heat-shield can withstand temperatures of 4000 degrees centigrade and ensure normal functioning of onboard avionics. The missile, which has a flight altitude of 900 km, has to withstand temperatures above 3000 degrees on re-entering the atmosphere.
Nuclear-capable Agni-IV test-fired as part of user trial
- India successfully test-fired the nuclear-capable Agni-IV ballistic missile from launch complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) located in Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast.
- This user trial was conducted by the Army's Strategic Forces Command (SFC), which saw the two-stage missile being fired from a mobile launcher.
- The Agni-IV, 20 metres tall and weighing 17 tonnes, has an effective range of 4000km.
Agni-V to be India's first ICBM
- The Agni-V, in development since 2007, and last tested in January 2015, will be the next installment in the Agni missile series.
- The missile was described by the DRDO chief as a 5,000km plus missile with a maximum range of 5,500-5,800 km, making it India's first Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM).
- Once Agni-V is operational, it will bring northernmost part of China into strike range.
Chinese believe Agni-V to have 8000km range
Soon after the first test of Agni-V from Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha, the Chinese officially stated that they thought Agni-V had a range of 8000 km. India, however, has maintained ambiguity regarding Agni-V's range stating figures in 5000s.
India's ballistic missile arsenal by range
- For short range ballistic missiles with ranges betwee 300-1000km, India has Prithvi, which has a range of 350-600km.
- In the medium range ballistic missile category (1000-3500km), India has Agni-I (700-1250km), Agni-II (2000km) and Agni-III (3000km).
- The 4000km Agni-IV falls in the intermediate ballistic missile category (3500-5000km).
- And finally, in the intercontinental ballistic missile category (greater than 5500km) comes Agni-V with a range of 5500-5800km.
Agni-V aimed at China?
The Agni missiles are under the authority of the Strategic Forces Command. Agni I, II and III have shorter ranges are believed to be targeting Pakistan; however the longer range Agni IV and V are widely accepted as a deterrent to Chinese threats.
India tests nuclear capable Agni V
- India test-fired the nuclear-capable Agni V missile from Wheeler Island off the coast of Odisha; the missile is touted to have a range of over 5000 kms.
- It was test-fired from a mobile launcher from the launch complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range and was the fourth developmental and second canisterised trial of the Agni V.
- The DRDO declared the test successful.
IAF Chief defends India's deterrent build-up
- Responding to Beijing's protest against India's testing of the Agni V ballistic missile, IAF Chief Arup Raha said "Every country has the right to build its defence capabilities to address its security concerns and threat perceptions."
- He also lambasted the Sino-Pak "collusion and transfer of technology forbidden" by international treaties.
- He said "In international diplomacy, such posturing and signalling will always be there."
India successfully tests n-capable Agni IV
- Barely a week after successfully testing the Agni V ICBM, the DRDO successfully test fired the Agni IV nuclear capable ballistic missile from Balasore, Odisha; the missile has a range up to 4000 km.
- This was the 6th test of the Agni IV and the second user trial of the missile.
- DRDO said it can carry a nuclear warhead weighing up to 1 tonne.
China may help Pak develop ICBMs
- Chinese state media has suggested that China may help Pakistan develop Intercontinental Ballistic Missile technology if India continues developing long-range missiles.
- The report comes after India successfully fired the Agni IV and V missiles, adding that China would vie for Pakistan to be given the same nuclear "privileges" as India.
- The report added that India has violated innumerable UN rules through its ICBM program.