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China questions India’s Agni-V missile project


China cited a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution issued after the 1998 nuclear tests to question India’s missile programme amid reports of an upcoming test for the Agni-V intercontinental ballistic missile.


GS-III: Science and Technology (Achievements of Indians in Science & Technology, Defence Technology, Indigenization of Technology)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Agni Missiles
  2. Agni-V missile
  3. Recently in news: Agni-P
  4. What did China say regarding India and UNSCR 1172?

About Agni Missiles

There are 5 Agni series of missiles:

  1. Agni I: Range of 700-800 km.
  2. Agni II: Range more than 2000 km.
  3. Agni III: Range of more than 2,500 Km
  4. Agni IV: Range is more than 3,500 km and can fire from a road mobile launcher.
  5. Agni-V: The longest of the Agni series, an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) with a range of over 5,000 km.

Agni-V missile

  • Agni-V is an Indian nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation.
  • The exact range of the Agni-V missile is classified. The missile is believed to have a range of over 5,000 km and expandable up to 8,000 km.
  • It is a three-stage solid-fuelled missile.
  • Agni-V incorporated advanced technologies involving ring laser gyroscope and accelerometer for navigation and guidance. A ring laser gyroscope based inertial navigation system (RLG-INS) is primarily responsible for guiding the Agni-V to its target. However, Agni-V is equipped with another guidance system called micro inertial navigation system (MINGS) as a backup. These are capable of interacting with Indian and non-Indian satellite navigation systems.
  • Agni-V is also expected to feature Multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) with each missile being capable of carrying 2–10 separate nuclear warheads.
  • India is the eighth country to have intercontinental ballistic missiles after the US, UK, Russia, China, France, Israel and North Korea.
  • Agni V is primarily for enhancing India’s nuclear deterrence against China.

Recently in news: Agni-P

  • Agni-P is a new generation advanced variant of the Agni class (under IGMDP – Integrated Guided Missile Development Program).
  • It is a canisterised missile with range capability between 1,000 and 2,000 km. Canisterisation of missiles reduces the time required to launch the missile while improving its storage and mobility.
  • Many advanced technologies including composites, propulsion systems, innovative guidance and control mechanisms and state-of-the-art navigation systems have been introduced. The Agni-P missile would further strengthen India’s credible deterrence capabilities.
  • In comparison to other Agni class missiles, Agni-P has improved parameters including manoeuvring and accuracy.

What did China say regarding India and UNSCR 1172?

  • China said that as for whether India can develop ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, the UNSCR 1172 already has clear stipulations and maintaining peace, security and stability in South Asia meets the common interests of all.
  • China was referring to the UNSC resolution 1172, adopted in 1998 (in the aftermath of the 1998 nuclear tests) “calls upon India and Pakistan immediately to stop their nuclear weapon development programmes, to refrain from weaponisation or from the deployment of nuclear weapons, to cease development of ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons and any further production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, to confirm their policies not to export equipment, materials or technology that could contribute to weapons of mass destruction or missiles capable of delivering them and to undertake appropriate commitments in that regard”.
  • While citing the resolution regarding India’s missile programme, China has, in contrast, been aiding the development of Pakistan’s nuclear and missile programmes for decades, from providing enriched uranium and even technology for nuclear-capable missiles.

-Source: The Hindu

December 2023