Lok Sabha TV- Public Forum : Agni-5 Takes Off
Recently, India’s longest range and indigenously developed intercontinental surface-to-surface nuclear capable ballistic missile Agni-5 was launched from Odisha’s Wheeler Island. With this successful test, the missile will very soon become a part of the Indian military arsenal and can tilt the scale of missile power balance in India’s favour that has been with China so far. This is being seen as a mammoth step of India’s defence preparedness or achievement. The success of this launch was watched by many countries in the world. The missile has a range of reaching Beijing and Shanghai. Now India has also joined a small club of nations with long range nuclear capabilities including China, Britain, France, Russia, Israel and US. This also gives Government’s Make in India policy a major push. With the blast of the final operational configuration of the missile paving the way for its eventual induction into the Strategic Forces Command, what is more significant is the fact that this test has been done after 2 years successfully because of some minor technical issues.
- This is so far the most potent missile covering a range of more than 5000 kms and provides India that deterrence which is required at present. It is a technological achievement for India’s further progress. The navigation system is highly advanced supported by a micro navigation system.
- Agni 5 can hit other parts of Europe, Asia and Africa.
- It has nuclear warhead carrying capacity of more than 1 tonne.
- 17 metres long and 2 metres wide.
- Launch weight- 50 tonnes.
- It is the fourth developmental and second trial of long range missile.
- It is a part of Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.
- India is a part of 34-nation Missile Technology Control Regime in July, 2016 and Agni-5 launch is the first missile test since then.
- DRDO is also working on Agni-6 with more lethal striking capabilities.
- Agni-5 missile has been tested previously in 2012, 2013 and 2015.
This will definitely change the strategic scenario in Asia. In a true sense, Asia will now become multipolar. During the first test in 2012, China reacted in a very complex way. It was not coming forward directly but it tried to downplay this test. In Asia, there is nothing called arms race. China is much ahead of India. It tested its nuclear weapons in 1962 and modernized its missiles. If ever there is any such race, China will have to first compete with US. What India is doing here is a part of its security assessment. These tests are not being done to match any country’s capabilities. India’s nuclear doctrine says credible minimum deterrence. This is not an open ended arms race.
Right from the first test done, the user is associated (military) is associated. Therefore, the familiarity with the system starts building up along with the training. Separate trials are also allowed to the Strategic Forces Command so that they are comfortable with the missile.
India is a country which has never shown any motive to attack any other country but has been facing aggressions since a long time. Therefore, it is genuinely necessary to defend the country. This is a signal to not only adversaries but the people as well to assure that they are secure. This will also give a boost to indigenous industries that instead of purchasing 60-70% weapons from outside, they can be manufactured in the country itself. India has to use its talent. The test is also being seen as a tool to contain China but for now it has been described from the Indian side as a weapon of peace.