Mon, Sep 16, 2013 - Page 5 News List

India tests missile capable of hitting China’s east coast

Reuters, BHUBANESWAR, India

India successfully test-fired for a second time a nuclear-capable missile yesterday that can reach Beijing and much of Europe, bringing a step closer production of a weapon designed to strengthen its nuclear deterrent.

India is trying to keep up with China’s growing military strength and wants to have a viable deterrent against its larger nuclear-armed neighbor. The two countries have generally warm relations, but they fought a brief Himalayan war in 1962 and a buildup of conventional defenses along their disputed border is a source of tension.

The Agni-V is the most advanced version of the indigenously built Agni, or Fire, series, part of a program that started in the 1960s. Earlier versions could reach old rival Pakistan and western China.

Nuclear-armed Pakistan is increasing its arsenal of nuclear warheads and developing short-range, tactical nuclear weapons, raising concern about an escalating South Asian arms race, the International Institute for Strategic Studies said on Thursday.

The think tank said in a report the race with Pakistan was increasing the risk of a nuclear exchange during a conventional conflict, perhaps sparked by an act of terrorism.

The Agni-V missile is mostly domestically built and has a range of about 5,000km. Only the UN Security Council permanent members — China, France, Russia the US and Britain — along with Israel, are believed to have such long-range weapons.

This story has been viewed 1210 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top