To strengthen India’s nuclear deterrence against the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully conducted the Night Trials of its Inter Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Agni-V on Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha on Thursday.
The test was conducted to validate new technologies and equipment on the missile, which is now lighter than before. This has enhanced the capabilities of the rocket. It came to the forefront amidst the India- China face-off at the eastern sector of the LAC (Line of Actual Control) in Tawang.
The missile has a range of 5500 km. This perfectly puts the weapon platform into the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) content. Under this arms control agreement, the required range for a ballistic missile is 500 to 5500km.
The first test of this missile was conducted on the 27th of October 2022 on Abdul Kalam Island near the coast of Odisha. The rocket uses a three-stage solid-fueled engine that can strike targets 5000 km away with high precision and accuracy.
Agni V can bring almost the entire Asia, including the northernmost part of the Chinese Mainland and some regions of Europe, under striking range. The Agni Missile was a fruitful outcome of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP) by APJ Abdul Kalam (The missile man of India).
Agni-1 to Agni-4 missiles have ranges from 700-3500km, and they have already been deployed. The Agni-V series of missiles can reach Ukraine, Russia and Indonesia.
India is the eighth country in the world with ICBMs after the USA, Russia, the UK, China, France, Israel and North Korea. Although India has made leaps and bounds in missile technology and nuclear warheads, it has fewer warheads than China. India has 160 warheads, whereas China has more than 320.
The leading flagship missiles of the PLA Military (Rocket Force) are the DF series. DF stands for Dong Feng Series. These classes of missiles have an approximate range of 12000-15000kms. It can hit cities in the United States of America and is entirely indigenous. India is yet to develop a projectile of such calibre.