Sunday, June 16, 2024

India successfully tests nuclear-capable Agni V missile

The Strategic Forces Command, part of the Nuclear Command Authority headed by the Prime Minister, has tested its Agni-V nuclear-capable long-range ballistic missile in the Indian Ocean.

The test of 5,000-kilometer range missile comes amid renewed tensions with China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Indian and Chinese troops clashed in the Yangtse area of Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang earlier this month. Chinese forces, attempting to take control of a tactically important peak, were chased back to their post across the LAC by a larger number of Indian soldiers in the area.

India had issued a notification for the test last month — weeks before the clashes with the People’s Liberation Army in Tawang.

The test of the missile was conducted from the APJ Abdul Kalam Island (formerly known as Wheeler Island) off the coast of Odisha.

The induction of the Agni-V has brought Beijing and many other Chinese cities within the range of Indian land-based nuclear weapons.

In the past, Chinese experts have claimed that the actual range of the Agni-V missile 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.

The test was carried out to validate new technologies and equipment on the missile and has proved that the missile can now hit targets further away than before, they added.

This is the ninth flight of the Agni V – a missile first tested in 2012 – and was a routine test, Defence Ministry sources said.

China and India fought a full-scale war in 1962 over control of Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing claims in its entirety and considers part of Tibet.

The clash in Tawang followed joint military exercises that irked Beijing last month between India and the United States in Uttarakhand, which borders China.

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