By Raj Shankar
The successful launch of Agni 5 missile by India should act as a deterrent to China – a sort of national security insurance policy by New Delhi. But Beijing may not be perturbed about the success of the 6000 km surface to surface missile capable of carrying a 1000 kg nuclear warhead. China has more powerful missiles that can cover India and beyond.
While there is no fear factor, Agni 5 will surely act as a deterrent as it can cover cities like Beijing and Shanghai.
The successful launch of Agni 5 also proves how well India has been able to leverage the advantages of its highly successful satellite launch programmes to meets its growing defence hunger. Whether India is masquerading its defence ambitions through space programmes is debatable.
Though India and China have long been locked in an arms race, Beijing has a lead over India in modernized armed forces. But with the launch of Agni, and work in progress for a missile that can cover over 10,000 km, India is fast catching up.
India’s aggressive missile programme comes against the backdrop of China’s land, air and missile forces on the Tibetan Plateau that can cover the whole of India. India is also on the watch over China developing blue water naval forces that are eyeing strategic spots in the Indian Ocean.
India is also likely use the Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile programme as a calling card for a seat on the UN Security Council.