India today successfully test-fired the Agni-V, an intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of 5,000 kilometres.
The nuclear-capable missile was test-fired from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island, located around 10 km off the Odisha coast, at 7:50 pm.
Three trials of the Agni-V were conducted in 2018. The missile was to be inducted into service in 2020. However, the process was retarded due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which delayed some pre-induction tests.
The induction of the Agni V missile will bring Beijing and many other Chinese cities within the range of Indian land-based nuclear weapons for the first time, establishing a credible nuclear deterrent.
Chinese experts have claimed that the actual range of the missile could be around 8,000 km and suggest that India has "deliberately downplayed the missile's capability in order to avoid causing concern to other countries."
The latest test of the intercontinental ballistic missile comes amid reports of increased Chinese activity in the eastern sector of the Line of Actual Control. India and China have been locked in a stand-off in eastern Ladakh, in the western sector, since May last year.
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