* India to test fire long-range missile

BBC News: “India is due to test fire a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads. The locally-developed Agni-V missile has a range of more than 5,000km 3,100 miles and is expected to be launched in the eastern state of Orissa.

Visual description of the approximate range of...

Visual description of the approximate range of the (Indian) Agni ballistic missile series. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Analysts say the Agni meaning “fire” in Hindi and Sanskrit missile family is to be the cornerstone of Indias missile-based nuclear deterrent. The missiles are among India’s most sophisticated weapons. In 2010, India successfully test-fired Agni-II, an intermediate-range ballistic missile with a range of more than 2,000km 1,250 miles.

Defence analyst Rahul Bedi says the successful test flight of the Agni-V missile, which is capable of delivering a single 1.5-ton warhead deep inside nuclear rival China’s territory, will strengthen India’s nuclear deterrence once it comes into service by 2014-15. It is 17.5m-tall, solid-fuelled, has three stages and a launch weight of 50 tons. It has cost more than 2.5bn rupees $480m; £307m to develop.

Only China, Russia, France, the US, and Great Britain have such long-range missiles. Israel is thought to possess them.”

via BBC News – India to test fire long-range missile.

Let’s hope this doesn’t start a military space race between India and China. Both countries must surely haev better things to invest their money in than nuclear missiles!

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