Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

In a major boost to the defence sector, India successfully carried out the night trials of the Agni-V nuclear-capable ballistic missile on Thursday. 

Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the indigenous missile was tested at a defence facility from Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast at around 5.45 pm this evening.

The development comes at a crucial time when Indian and Chinese soldiers got engaged in a face-off in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang sector. 

As Chinese soldiers retreated, India decided to send a stern message to China showcasing its preparedness by initiating the Indian Air Forces combat exercise and now the trial of long-awaited Agni-V missile.

As per defence sources, ahead of the test, the authorities had issued a notification and declared the Bay of Bengal as a no-fly zone. The missile has a strike range of 5,500 kilometres. Nuclear weapons up to 1.5 ton can be carried in the advanced missile with a length of 10.5 Meters and a breadth of 1.5 Meters.

Notably, India had long planned the test of Agni-V as this will be the fifth in a series of medium and long-range nuclear-capable ballistic missiles that have been developed by India. 

The missile was first tested in 2012, with subsequent tests being conducted in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2021. This missile also has the capability to be launched via a submarine.

The Agni-V project is aimed at enhancing India’s nuclear deterrence against China which has missiles like Dongfeng-41 with ranges between 12,000 and 15,000 km.