India on Thursday successfully test-fired nuclear capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile Agni-V. This is said to be the most advanced missile in the Agni series and possess a strike range of over 5000 km. The fourth and final successful test of Agni-V has not just boosted India’s indigenous missile capabilities but also given the country a strategic deterrence to muscle out China’s military muscle. The missile will give India long-strike capability. It can even reach the northern parts of China.
The successful test of Agni-V has now guaranteed India a proud spot in the exclusive club of countries with ICBMs. However, China is apparently not happy with India’s achievement. Chinese state daily Global Times on Friday criticised India. It quoted Chinese experts as saying that Beijing should enhance its presence in the Indian Ocean to counter New Delhi’s missile tests.
“Though the missile could theoretically hit Beijing, India’s missile technique is far below the standard,” Global Times quoted Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at Institute of International Relations of Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences as saying. However, he wanted that China should “be on the alert and further upgrade its anti-missile techniques.”
Song told Global Times that “since the Indian Ocean is a “must enter” region for the Belt and Road initiative as well as the national strategy of building China into a maritime power, China should also enhance its military and economic presence in the Indian Ocean.”
India has successfully test fired the 5000-km range Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile Agni-V at 9:53am today. The Made in India canistered missile, having 3 stages of propulsion, was test fired from Abdul Kalam island off Odisha coast #MakeInIndia4Defence
— Raksha Mantri (@DefenceMinIndia) January 18, 2018
In a previous editorial this month, the Global Times had advised India to “cool its missile fever”. The comment had come after India had successfully tested Agni-IV which can travel 4,000 kilometers with a nuclear warhead. Boasting about China’s capability, the editorial read, “For India, China is something to inspire ambition and invoke patriotism. However, India should realize that owning several missiles does not mean it is a nuclear power. Even though India does become a nuclear power, it will be a long time before it can show off its strength to the world.”
The Agni-V is an advanced version of indigenously built Agni, or Fire, series programme which had started in the 1980s. The successful test is a major boost to India’s defense capabilities as it faces twin threat from Pakistan, which is developing a nuclear and missile programme of its own, and China.
At present India’s armory of Agni series includes Agni-1 with 700 km range, Agni-2 with 2000 km range, Agni-3 and Agni-4 with 2500 km to over than 3500km range.