Has the range of Agni V missile been increased?
The range of Agni V missile is approximately 5,000 to 8,000 kilometers (3,107 to 4,971 miles). It is a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile developed by India that is capable of reaching most parts of China, Europe, and the Middle East.
Agni V is an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) developed by India. It is a three-stage missile with solid-propellant rocket motors. The missile is believed to have a range of more than 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles), which would make it capable of reaching most parts of China. Agni V was first tested in 2012, and it has undergone several successful test flights since then. In 2017, India announced that the missile had become fully operational. Agni V is part of India’s Agni series of missiles, which also includes shorter-range systems. The development of the Agni series is seen as a response to Pakistan’s development of nuclear weapons, and the Agni V is seen as a deterrent against potential aggression from China.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi was celebrating the victory of 1971 war at a reception hosted by Army Chief Gen Manoj Pandey, the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) conducted the developmental trial for India’s nuclear missile spearhead Agni-V from A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha.
While the national security establishment is tight-lipped about the test, indications are that the DRDO was testing use of composite material including composite motor to develop an enhanced range missile. “For a missile, there is no such thing as night or day trial…..as it is, the trial was conducted at 530 pm….the development trial went off in a perfect fashion….with this the missile range could be enhanced by a couple of hundred kilometers to suit requirements of the Strategic Forces Command,” said a government missile expert.
The timing of the test firing of the three-stage solid fuelled delivery platform with single warhead was interesting as it came soon after Indian Army repelled some 600 belligerent PLA troopers from occupying heights for tactical reason in Yangtze area of Tawang sector in Arunachal Pradesh on December 9. The Agni V ballistic surface launched ballistic missile and 3000 km range K-4 nuclear submarine launched ballistic missile are the spearheads of India’s nuclear triad and as part of its minimum credible deterrent nuclear doctrine. The newer range of India’s ballistic missile submarines will be carrying the K-4 missiles to deter any belligerence in the Indo-Pacific. The last Agni V user trial was conducted in October 2021 with DRDO having capacity and capability to build longer range missiles if the government so desires as part of its nuclear strategy.