Skip to main content

India set to test its long-distance missile

By Harmeet Shah Singh, CNN
updated 7:46 AM EDT, Tue April 17, 2012
Agni IV missile is on display during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2012.
Agni IV missile is on display during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2012.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The launch of the missile is expected between Wednesday and Friday
  • The missile is called Agni, which means "fire" in Hindi
  • "It's the most advanced missile so far," official says

New Delhi (CNN) -- India plans the maiden test flight this week of its longest-range nuclear-capable missile, which can travel more than 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles), military officials said.

The Agni V rocket could be launched between Wednesday and Friday, said Ravi Gupta, the spokesman for the country's Defense Research and Development Organization.

"It's the most advanced missile so far," he said.

In November, India successfully tested the fourth version of Agni, meaning "fire" in Hindi, with a range of 3,500 km. Built years earlier, Agni I could travel 700 km, according to Indian defense authorities.

India says that it pursues no aggressive designs and that its military program is based on building a credible minimum deterrent with a "no-first-use" policy.

"Our missiles are purely for deterrence," said Gupta.

The flight of Agni V would be a significant move to demonstrate India's technological competence, said Uday Bhaskar, a strategic expert.

But the home-grown missile, he said, would undergo several tests more before it becomes fully operational.

"Yet, the first test of Agni V will enhance India's technological profile," he said.

A successful experiment, Bhaskar said, would bring India closer to the group of nations capable of building intercontinental missiles. Currently, the five permanent member nations of the U.N. Security Council are thought to have developed such technology, he said.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 2:18 AM EST, Fri February 8, 2013
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.
ADVERTISEMENT