What is Agni-5, the long-range nuclear capable missile that India has tested?

Source: The post is based on the article “What is Agni-5, the long-range nuclear capable missile that India has tested?” published in Indian Express on 16th December 2022

What is the News?

India has successfully tested the Agni-5 missile.

What is Agni-5?

Agni-5 is a long-range surface-to-surface nuclear-capable ballistic missile.

Developed by: Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO)

Features: It is a three-stage solid-fuelled engine.

– It is a fire-and-forget missile, which cannot be stopped without an interceptor missile.

– It can strike targets at ranges of 5,000 to 5,500 km which puts major cities in China, including the capital Beijing within its range.

Developed under: Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).

What was the latest test for?

Agni-5 has been successfully tested multiple times since 2012. This latest test was carried out primarily to validate various new technologies on board the missile. 

At the time of the previous test in October 2021, the Ministry of Defence had highlighted the posture of ‘credible minimum deterrence’ and ‘No First Use’ which are pivotal points of India’s nuclear doctrine, first published in 2003.

This basically means India would never use nuclear weapons first in a conflict situation but only as retaliation, and the arsenal maintained is to only deter the possibility of an attack on India.

About Nuclear Command Authority of India

Strategic Forces Command(SFC) carried out the test. It is a key tri-services formation that manages and administers all the strategic assets and falls under the purview of the Nuclear Command Authority of India.

The Nuclear Command Authority is the sole body which can authorize the use of nuclear weapons. It comprises a Political Council and an Executive Council. 

The Political Council is chaired by the Prime Minister. The Executive Council chaired by the National Security Advisor. The council provides inputs for decision-making by the Nuclear Command Authority and executes the directives given to it by the Political Council.

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