Indian Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) has test-fired surface-to-surface ballistic missile Agni-V that can hit targets located up to 5,000km away. The missile was successfully launched from APJ Abdul Kalam Island, off the coast of Odisha, without elaborating on other details. The successful test of Agni-V is in line with India’s stated policy to have ‘credible minimum deterrence’ that underpins the commitment to ‘No First Use’. The missile followed a perfect flight trajectory and hit the target within 15 to 18 minutes. This was the first time that the ballistic missile was launched at night. Agni-V is equipped with a three-stage solid-fuelled engine and uses advanced guidance systems to hit targets with a high degree of accuracy.
Agni-V (“Fire”) is an Indian nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation. The missile is believed to have a range of around 5,000 to 8,000 km. Agni V is primarily for enhancing India’s nuclear deterrence against China. Even with a range of only 5,000 km, the Agni-V could hit any target in China, including Beijing. It is a three-stage, road-mobile and solid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missile which is transported by a truck and launched via a canister. Earlier this year, DRDO tested a new generation advanced ballistic missile variant Agni-P (Prime) from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island.
The missile will allow India to strike targets across Asia and into Europe. The missile’s range will allow the Indian military to target all of China from Agni-V bases, in central and southern India, further away from China. The missile is also likely to be similar to other missiles of the range of 10,000 km. The missile was designed to be easy to transport by road, through the utilisation of a canister-launch missile system, which is distinct from those of the earlier Agni missiles. Agni-V would also carry MIRV (multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles) payloads being concurrently developed. A single MIRV equipped missile can deliver multiple warheads at different targets.