India test-fires Agni-V intercontinental ballistic missile

New Delhi test-fired Agni-V intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Thursday from the Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast, The Times of India reported.

Sharing borders with nuclear-armed China and Pakistan, India test-fired the missile when Israel has already announced that India was restarting talks with the country over a canceled deal to buy anti-tank missiles.

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The missile test is another step forward toward its eventual induction into the Strategic Forces Command (SFC), said the TOI.

There was no immediate word, the Indian media report said, on whether the first “user-trial” of the nuclear-capable Agni-V missile, which can even reach the northern-most parts of China with its strike range of over 5,000-kilometer, had met all the parameters laid down for the test.

“We have successfully launched nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-V today,” ANI quoted defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman as saying.

It added, “India test fired Intercontinental 5000-km range surface to surface nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-V from Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast at 9:53 am.”

The Agni-V was last tested on December 26, 2016, which was then described as the fourth and final experimental test of the three-stage missile, according to the TOI.

Earlier in January, India launched highly sophisticated surveillance satellite to keep an eye on borders.

India, China and Pakistan are all nuclear powers. India has fought three wars with Pakistan and came close to the fourth one in 2001. It lost a brief Himalayan border war with its larger neighbour China in 1962 and has ever since strived to improve its defences.

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Pakistan has repeatedly expressed serious concerns over the building and development of inter-continental ballistic missiles by India.

In recent years, New Delhi has accused China of making hundreds of intrusions along their disputed border. However, China denies crossing into Indian territory.


This story originally appeared on The Times of India.

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