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India intercontinental ballistic missile Agni 5 launcher

  • India successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile on Thursday, giving it strike capabilities currently had by only a few countries.
  • The test comes amid a heightened period of tensions with India’s nuclear-armed neighbors, Pakistan and China.
  • India has been beefing up its military capacities in recent years, buying hardware and developing missiles.

India successful tested the Agni 5 missile on Thursday, moving it closer to joining the small group of countries with access to nuclear-capable intercontinental missiles.

This is India’s first successful test of the Agni 5 at its full range, the Indian Ministry of Defense said in a release. The test also marks a significant step in India’s military development amid tensions with China and Pakistan.

The missile test was conducted on an island off India’s east coast, flying for 19 minutes and covering more than 3,000 miles. It was the fifth such test and the third consecutive one firing the missile from a canister on a road-mobile launcher, the Indian Ministry of Defense said. All five tests have been successful.

The ministry said “all objectives” of the latest test were met and it “reaffirms the country’s indigenous missile capabilities and further strengthens our credible deterrence.”

The Agni 5 is the most advanced in the Agni series, part of a program that began in the 1980s. It has a range of more than 3,100 miles and puts India among countries like the US, China, and Russia that have access to intercontinental ballistic missiles. The missile is also set for incorporation into India’s Strategic Forces Command, which oversees the country’s nuclear-weapons stockpile.

The three-stage missile is 55 feet long and is capable of carrying a payload of more than 1.5 tons, which is enough to carry “fusion boosted fission warheads with a yield of 200-300 kilotonnes,” according to Read More Here