7 facts to know about India's formidable Agni-V missile

Dec 29, 2016, 00:29

As a young notetaker at the PM's annual conference with the military commanders, one recalls the gravitas with which nuclear weapons and related missile capability were perceived and Mrs Indira Gandhi exhorting the techno-scientific apex of the country to enable India to acquire this capability.

The Agni-5 missile, which means "Fire" in Sanskrit, was sacked off from the Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast and is India's most potent long-range nuclear capable weapon.

The DRDO, with valuable support from the rest of the national ecosystem persevered and in 1989 India tested the first Agni missile, which was rudimentary and had a modest range.

This is reportedly the final test of the Agni V missile and with it India is now part of a select few club of nations with a similar capability. The two countries have fought three wars and tensions continue to run high.

Pakistan has about 130-140 nuclear-capable missiles which include Shaheen and Ghauri series of missiles which Islamabad has developed with the help of China and North Korea.

But the development could be worrying for China - with a range of more than 5,000 kilometers (more than 3,100 miles) the Agni-V is India's longest-range and puts Beijing within striking distance.

Scientists have developed a lot of new technology indigenously which were successfully tested in the first Agni-V missile trial.

"On the test firing by India, we have also noted that some media, including Indian media and also some Japanese media, have speculated on whether this act of India is targeted at China", she said.

Vladimir Putin has boasted in the past week of Russia's military power and revealed Russian Federation is "stronger" than the U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

The missile was launched from a mobile platform, which gives the armed forces flexibility to transport and fire it swiftly from anywhere they want. "It will add tremendous strength to our strategic defence", said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a statement released on Twitter.

Mr Lele added: "It is essentially to make a point that yes, we have a sufficient amount of arsenal. If somebody attacks us by using nuclear weapons, we can respond effectively", he said.

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