Gurgaon: After a scheduled test earlier this year had to be aborted due to a technical snag, the Agni V is now ready to be fired again. Because of a battery glitch as reported by Defence Research and Development Organisation, the test had to be rescheduled. Now the missile which has a range of five thousand kilometres or more will help raise the status of India from regional to a world superpower. India will be the fifth country to possess this missile after America, Russia, China, France and England.
What makes Agni V unique is that it will enable India to join the club of countries which have Intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). While the DRDO claims that this missile has a range of 5000 km, it might be also possible that the range is even higher.
The possible reason why India might be downplaying the range of this missile is that India might wish to show some restraint before joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group. This is strategically important; otherwise, China will waste no time in portraying India as an aggressor with missiles which can hit anywhere in Europe.
The last test was carried out on 31 January 2015, from a mobile canister, under then DRDO chief Avinash Chander, famous as the man behind the Agni series of missiles, on the last day of his tenure.
Agni-V with its higher payload and multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) capability – with high degree of precision– will give India a significant edge in countering any threat posed by the enemy. MIRV implies that a single missile will carry many nuclear warheads and each is programmed to hit a different target.
On the other hand, India’s nuclear-capable neighbours will have sleepless nights as the success of Agni V tests mean that it will be soon incorporated into the Army. So, this means that any kind of display of threat will have to be planned out very cautiously and meticulously. Not only will this boost the morale of the Indian army, but will also give more options to military strategists.
Chinese media reports on earlier tests reports tried to downplay India’s infrastructure such as bridges being able to withstand a weight of 50 ton missile mounted on a truck.