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India test-fires its longest-range missile

January 19, 2018

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NEW DELHI: India tested its longest-range intercontinental missile on Thursday, the defence ministry said, part of efforts to build a nuclear deterrent.

The 5,000km range Agni missile was tested from an island in India’s eastern coast in the Bay of Bengal, the ministry said on its official Twitter account.

It said the launch was “a major boost to the defence capabilities” of India.

The Agni-V is an advanced version of the indigenously built Agni, or Fire, series, part of a programme that started in the 1980s. It has been tested previously.

A long-running dispute over the Himalayan border with China has flared in recent years.

According to a report, the missile brings the whole of Asia and China as well parts of Europe and Africa within its nuclear strike envelope.

Sources said the country’s most formidable missile will undergo one more such pre-induction trial within this year before it is inducted into the Agni-V regiment already raised by the tri-Service Strategic Forces Command with the requisite command and control structures.

Published in Dawn, January 19th, 2018