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Agni-V can now strike targets beyond 7,000 km

According to an ANI report quoting defence sources, the Agni-V, which was successfully tested on December 15 in Odisha, can travel more than 7,000 kilometres because its weight has been lowered by 20%. The Defence Research and Development Organisation has been able to lower the weight of the Agni-V missile by substituting the steel component with composite materials, the report stated, adding that the government hopes the missile can reach beyond 7,000 kilometres.

Agni-3 weighs over 40 tonnes and can attack targets at 3,000 kilometres whereas Agni-4 weighs more than 20 tonnes and can traverse a far greater range. “The enhanced range of the missile, which is part of the Strategic Forces Command, will provide planners with a number of alternatives during times of war,” said the report.

Thursday’s test of Agni-V was at its full range of 5,400 kilometres. The government will have to decide whether to test the missile at its new maximum probable range, according to the statement.

The test of Agni-V happened amid an escalation of the border conflict with China in the Tawang area of Arunachal Pradesh on December 9.

The most recent Agni test firing occurred in October.

According to the defence ministry, Agni V has a three-stage solid-fueled engine and is capable of attacking targets at ranges of up to 5,000 kilometres with a high degree of precision. The successful test of Agni-V is in keeping with India’s declared objective to have “credible minimum deterrence,” which underpins the commitment to ‘No First Use’, it added.

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