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Agni-V will establish India-China strategic parity in nuclear field: Raja Mohan

New Delhi, Wed, 18 Apr 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Apr 18 (ANI): Stating that the plan to develop a intercontinental ballistic missile has been on the drawing board for a long time, strategic analyst C. Raja Mohan on Wednesday said Agni-V will bring India to a measure of strategic parity with the Chinese in the nuclear field.

"The plan to develop a intercontinental ballistic missile has been on the drawing board for a long time. So, what we have seen today the successful test of Agni-V is a maturation of India's missile technology. It's also the beginning of a process where India gets the nuclear deterrence against the Chinese. Unlike China, which has had long-range missiles for a long time, India did not have a missile that is capable of hitting major targets in China," said Raja Mohan.

"Now, with this missile, which will be able to reach China's eastern seaboard. For the first time now, India has a deterrent capability vis-a-vis China. So, what is does is it brings India to a measure of strategic parity with the Chinese in the nuclear field. But this won't happen automatically. This will take about a few years because this missile has to be tested repeatedly then it will have to be inducted into the armed forces. At that point you can say, India has a deterrent capability against the Chinese," he added.

Raja Mohan further said India has extended the range of these missiles step by step.

"India started this missile programme in the early 1980s. Step by step, India has extended the range of these missiles. Now, because India is nuclear weapon power, it needs deterrence against other nuclear powers. Therefore you need a long-range missile. Until now, what India has had was all short-range or medium-range missiles. These missiles have given India a deterrent capability against Pakistan, but not against China," he said.

When asked what does India hope to achieve from Agni-V, Raja Mohan said : "he strategic purpose is to acquire strategic nuclear deterrence against China. Agni-V tests that purpose."

India is all set to test fire its 5,000 km range Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Agni-V on Wednesday from a test range in Wheeler island off the coast of Odisha.

The test fire will be as major leap forward in missile technology and military deterrent capability.

India will join an elite group of nations such as the US, Russia and China with inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) when it tests the over 5,000-km-range Agni- 5.

India has in November last tested the 3,500-km-range Agni-IV missile giving muscle to India's deterrent capability against the military adversaries.

Agni-V is a solid fueled intercontinental ballistic missile. It will greatly expand India's reach to strike targets well beyond 5,500 km away. (ANI)


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