India to Test Agni-5 ICBM

India will today test its nuclear-capable Agni-5 intercontinental ballistic missile. During the test, the missile’s MIRV capability—the weapon’s ability to

Agni 5

Photo: PTI

India will today test its nuclear-capable Agni-5 intercontinental ballistic missile.

During the test, the missile’s MIRV capability—the weapon’s ability to fire multiple warheads at different targets—will be evaluated.

The Agni-5 missile’s 3,400 mi range of will be on full display, showcasing the Indian government’s renewed emphasis on and further development in its defense industry. India’s chief audience is its systemic rival and neighbor—Pakistan—with which it clashes over myriad issues.

Expect the missile launch to serve as a rallying cry for India’s defense industry. Changes in India’s foreign direct investment (FDI) last year are also likely to spur significant foreign investments in New Delhi’s defense industry. India’s wariness also stems from Pakistan’s growing ties with China—which has regional strategies that vary from New Delhi’s interests.

India and Pakistan’s arms race will also gain momentum during the short-to medium term. In this realm, expect New Delhi to prioritize development of its K-6 submarine-launched ballistic missile which will likely be completed in the long-term. Both states will also continue conducting tests of their nuclear-capable weapons and other military equipment as a gesture of provocation. Thus, a mutual disarmament agreement is highly unlikely to occur during the long-term.

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