Ballistic missile Agni V: new engine of arms race in Asia?

India has made a key step in the development of its strategic potential, after successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile Agni V, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. The Agni V missile can strike anywhere in China and Eastern Europe, Indian military saw it an effective deterrent to Beijing, which New Delhi is considered one of the major threats to national security. However, Countries in the region fear that a new test of Indian missile could foster an arms race in Asia.

The first Indian intercontinental ballistic missile Agni V, ranging over five thousand miles, was launched on 19th at 08:07 local time from Wheeler Island in the Bay of Bengal (Orissa). After 20 minutes of flight, breaking the distance of 5000 km, Agni V hit the target area in the Indian Ocean near Indonesia.

The launch of Agni V was originally scheduled for Wednesday but postponed at the last moment due to adverse weather conditions. The test was successful. “It was a perfect launch. Missile struck the intended target, and all assignments are completed,” – said Mr. Sarasavat, the head of the Indian Mission Control Centre DRDO (Defense Research and Development Organization). According to him, India in the coming months “will hold two more tests, then no later than one year, will begin the production of missiles of this type.”

Agni V test is commented by the leadership of the country. “Today, our nation stood at full height. We entered the elite club of missile powers. This launch showed the world that India has the ability to develop and produce missiles of this class,” – declared Defence Minister A.K. Antony. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called the launch of Agni V, another key milestone in the development of defense capabilities of the country and congratulated the scientists and developers with the successful launch of the rocket.

The three-stage solid-fuel missile Agni V class, which can carry a nuclear warhead, is the latest generation of Indian rocket (its predecessor is a two-stage Agni III missile with a range of 3.5 thousand km, tested five years ago). Equipped with several separable self-guided warheads. Missile length – 17.5 m, diameter – 2 m, weight – 50 tons payload – 1.5 m. Agni V can be moved by road and rail, which allows India to deploy it in different points of the country. The missile is capable of reaching any part of Chinese territory, including its most populous East Coast, and Eastern Europe. Agni V promise to adopt the Indian Army in 2014-2015.

Evaluating the test missile Agni V, Indian experts have called it primarily a means to contain China, which along with Pakistan in New Delhi is considered one of the major threats to national security. Half a century after the war in 1962, ending India’s defeat, despite the diplomatic efforts aimed at normalizing relations between New Delhi and Beijing, long-standing problems in this relationship did not disappear.

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