Is India’s Agni-5 Nuclear Missile Capable of Covering China?

| Updated: December 17, 2022 10:12 am

On 15th December, India successfully test fired Agni-5 nuclear-capable inter-continental ballistic missile, sources from the defense establishment reveal. The capacity of the missile is to hit targets beyond the range of 5000 km and is crucial for India’s self defense systems. The defense sources were asked to put new technologies and equipment on the missile, which were to help make the missile lighter. The aim of the trial was to improve the range of the Agni-5 missile if required.

The test firing of the missile at Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast came between India’s ongoing border row with China. While a pre-test warning had been given to airmen weeks ago, as per the protocol, the timing of the firing taking place can be seen as a message to China.

The Chinese soldiers got caught up in a brawl with Indian soldiers at the Line of Actual Control in Arunachal Pradesh. Soldiers from both sides were injured, but no deaths were reported. The current variant Agni IV is capable of hitting targets from a range of 4,000 km while Agni- III works with a range of 3,000 km, and Agni II can fly up to 2,000 km. 

There are five things you should know about India’s Agni-5 

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

The IGMDP is the mental offspring of Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who dreamt at making the country independent in the arena of missile technology

. The entire program had five missiles- P-A-T-N-A, Prithvi, Agni, Trishul, Nag and Akash

. The Defence Ministry says the missile uses a three-stage solid-fuelled engine and is capable of striking targets at ranges up to 5,000 kilometers with a very high degree of accuracy. 

It is widely speculated that Agni-5, which has the capacity of hitting targets beyond the range of 5,000 km, is a strategic missile targeted at China, as it can reach almost all parts of China mainland. 

Not long before, only last year, China had raised concerns about India’s launch of an Agni-5 intercontinental ballistic missile quoting a resolution of the United Nations Security Council, (UNSC)1172. The resolution was undertaken after India’s 1998 nuclear tests.    

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