India on Thursday test fired its indigenously developed intercontinental surface-to-surface nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-V, which can reach targets as far as Beijing.
The firing took place from the Abdul Kalam Island facility off the Odisha coast. A Defence Ministry official said the pre-induction test of the highly sophisticated and world class game-changer missile was successful. Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Agni-V is the most advanced version of the Agni series, part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme that started in the 1960s.
This is the third successful Agni-V launch. There were also debates within the government at a time India was pushing for a place in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), something China opposes.
The missile, which is surface to surface nuclear capable, can hit targets in north China. If this test is successful and perhaps another one, the missile will become part of the Indian military arsenal and restore some of the missile balance that is in China’s favour.
With Agni-V, India has joined the US, Russia, the UK, France and China, all of which boast having ICBM capabilities.