NEW DELHI: The successful testfiring of the nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-V is a symbol of New India’s might and a cause of worry for China. With a range of over 5,000 km, it can reach most cities in mainland China, including Beijing.
India has been testing this missile since 2012 and the test on December 15 was the ninth one, the success of which has paved the way for induction of this missile into the armed forces.
This has also made India the fourth country after Russia, United States and China to have both land and sea-based Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles.
Though the Agni-V test-firing was prescheduled, it assumes significance amid fresh tension along the Line of Actual Control in Arunachal Pradesh.
The test was conducted by the Strategic Forces Command, part of the Nuclear Command Authority headed by the Prime Minister. Defence Ministry sources said the test was carried out primarily to validate various new technologies on board with a very high degree of accuracy.
In the past, Chinese experts have claimed that the actual range of Agni-V could be around 8,000 km and suggested that India has deliberately downplayed the missile’s capability in order to avoid causing concern to other countries in the region.