India announced the successful test of a nuclear-capable Agni-V intercontinental ballistic missile as border tensions with China rise.
“Historic milestone! India successfully test-fired nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Agni-V during its launch from Abdul Kalam Island.
This missile will add significantly to its capabilities. Defense and strengthen national security through the ability to fly more than 5,400 km,” Indian Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi wrote on Twitter on December 15.
Indian officials previously announced a blockade of the Bay of Bengal, banning aircraft and ships from passing to conduct missile tests.
Indian media boldly reported on the test of the Agni-V missile, even claiming that the 5,400 km range is “enough to cover the entire Chinese territory.”
The test of the Agni-V ICBM was conducted a few days after an altercation between Indian and Chinese border guards at the disputed border between the two countries in the Tawang region, which raised tensions.
The two sides accused each other of “territorial trespassing,” leading to a scuffle, leaving several people injured.
This is the second test of the Agni-V missile since its introduction into the Indian Army in 2018. The first test occurred around the end of October 2021.
The Indian Defense Ministry in 2021 confirmed that the commissioning and testing of the Agni-V missile were in line with the policy of ensuring minimal deterrence and in compliance with New Delhi’s “no first strike” commitment.