India Successfully Tests Missile That Can Hit Beijing

This photograph released by the Indian Ministry of defence shows India’s Agni-V missile, with a range of 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles), being launched from Wheeler Island off India’s east coast, Thursday, April 19, 2012. India announced the successful test launch Thursday of the new nuclear-capable missile that would give it the capability of striking the major Chinese cities of Beijing and Shanghai for the first time.

Photo: AP/Indian Ministry of defence

India announced today that it had successfully tested a new, nuclear-capable missile that will be able to hit targets in China and Eastern Europe.This marks a watershed moment for India’s geopolitical position, as the missile serves as a silent check on China’s mounting military might.

The new Agni-V has a range of 5,000 km (3,100 mi) in comparison to the 3,500-km Agni-III, which is currently the most advanced missile in India’s arsenal.

The Agni-V still needs to pass more tests and earn government approval before it is officially added to the military’s arsenal, however officials said today that this would likely occur in 2014 or 2015.

“The nation stands tall today,” Indian defence Minister A.K. Antony told the Press Trust of India. India’s defence Research and Development organisation said that the missile soared to more than 600 km, and that its payload was deployed as planned in an interview tih Times Now news channel.

China has fired back with warnings in the wake of the missile launch. From the AP:

A state TV report on the launch enumerated the missile’s shortcomings and a Chinese newspaper warned India not to get arrogant and overestimate its strength.

“India should be clear that China’s nuclear power is stronger and more reliable. For the foreseeable future, India would stand no chance in an overall arms race with China,” said an editorial in the Global Times, which is published by the Communist Party’s official mouthpiece the People’s Daily.

It also warned India not to work with Western allies to try to contain China.

“If it equates long range strategic missiles with deterrence of China, and stirs up further hostility, it could be sorely mistaken,” it said.

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