India Conducts Agni V Trials Days After China Clashes

Agni V, India conducts Agni V tests
India conducted Agni V Trials yesterday
Agni V, India conducts Agni V tests
India conducted Agni V Trials yesterday

Sources in the Defence Ministry said on Thursday that India had successfully conducted night trials of the Agni V nuclear-capable ballistic missile, which can hit targets beyond 5,400 kilometres, amid heightened tensions with China following clashes along the de facto border in Arunachal Pradesh last week.

The test was conducted to validate new technologies and equipment on the missile, and it demonstrated that the missile can now hit targets further away than previously.

Abdul Kalam Island, off the coast of Odisha, launched the nuclear-capable ballistic missile. According to Defense Ministry sources, this is the ninth flight of the Agni V missile, which was first tested in 2012.

While the test was conducted days after the clashes, it had been planned in advance. Long before the incident in Arunachal’s Tawang, India announced its intention to test a long-range missile and issued a NOTAM, or Notice to Airmen.

China attempted to “unilaterally change the status quo” on the de facto border known as the Line of Actual Control last week, resulting in clashes that injured troops on both sides, the government said, adding that the attempt was successfully repulsed.

The incident is thought to be the most serious on the nuclear-armed Asian giants’ disputed border since a brawl in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley in 2020 killed 20 Indian troops and four Chinese soldiers.

China and India fought a full-scale war in 1962 over control of Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing claims in its entirety and considers part of Tibet.

The clash in Tawang came after joint military exercises between India and the US in Uttarakhand, which borders China, irritated Beijing last month.