A successful test fire of nuclear capable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) named Agni-5 which can struck at a distance of 5000 kilometres off the testing coast – well it no less than defence-centric achievement for India.

On Thursday, India successfully test fired its Agni-5 ICBM, a nuclear capable surface to surface ballistic missile that will prove to be a new addition to the Strategic Forces Command (SFC). The India made Agni-5 intercontinental missile has a striking range of 5000 kilometres from the point of its launch – making it the most potent and longest range missile in its segment made by India. Tested from Abdul Kalaam island off the coastlines of Odisha, Agni-5 travelled a distance of 4,900 kilometres in 19 minutes and has the capability to reach most of Chinese territory as well as most of the Europe.

Agni-5 weighs 50 tonnes, it is 17-metre tall and 2-metre wide with a capability to carry 1.5 tonnes of nuclear or explosive warhead. It is also a ‘fire and forget’ type of missile which cannot be stopped once fired – except by a ballistic interceptor missile which only the US, Russia and Israel owns as of now. Also, it is designed in a way that once launched, it reaches the peak of its trajectory and then turns down towards Earth to make a strike on the intended target with extreme force that is added up due to gravitational pull of the Earth – hence making a wider impact on ground. Combined with India’s regional satellite based navigation system NAVIC, Agni-5 is great force multiplier for the armed forces.

Also, the missile can be launched off a canister-launched, making it extremely convenient and flexible to transport easily even to remote places and fire it from anywhere without need of special launchers. Furthermore, if required during emergency, Agni-5 can also be used as to target satellites as an anti-satellite weapon and can also be used to launch Indian satellites in hostile circumstances. After a first successful trial, Agni-5 will have to go through a couple of more trials and will be produced in adequate numbers – after which, it will eventually be inducted into the arsenal of the tri-Service Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of India. With all these advance features, Agni-5 is an unmatched asset for India’s strike capability in case of a nuclear war.