First, it was nuclear submarines for Australia and now a test of a long-range missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads. If you are a preeminent power in the neighbourhood with global superpower ambitions, such developments would be enough to rile you up.
And that is exactly how China responded to news that India was planning a test of the Agni V missile ahead of its formal induction into its arsenal. Though it’s not the first test of the inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM), it does represent another move towards deterrence. Here’s all you need to know.
WHY IS THE TEST SIGNIFICANT?
Agni-V is India’s first ICBM — normally regarded as having a range of more than 5,000km — and has been under development for more than a decade. After its fifth test firing in January 2018, the Ministry of Defence had said that all the objectives for the test of the “long-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile… have been successfully met” and it “reaffirms the country’s indigenous missile capabilities and further strengthens our credible deterrence”.
However, although reports have said that the missile was to be inducted into the Armed forces after two more tests the same year — in June and December — making it seven successful tests in total, another test was lined up, which got delayed, however, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.