In a day or two, India will be testing its longest-range most potent nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-V but what has rattled Bejing recently seems to be the first demonstration of the multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRV) capabilities of the missile system, that allows Agni-V to deliver multiple warheads programmed to destroy different targets hundreds of km away from each other and alternatively launch more than one warhead assigned to one target.

The upcoming trial will be the first of the pre-induction trials where the missile will test many of the key new technologies before canisterised Agni-V is finally deployed at strategic locations after it cleared mobility trials at deep depths of India making it difficult for Chinese satellites to keep track of the missile.

A few years back, an Eminent Chinese missile scientist had called Agni-V an 8000km range missile that is capable of taking down targets in whole of Asia and half of Europe and had accused India of downplaying its actual range to 5000km. The recent attempt by China to bring past UN resolution as per defense sources close to was an attempt by China to spook some European countries on the capabilities of India’s Agni-V that have some influence over India.

India has been going slow on the deployment and induction of the Agni-V, since Agni-IV and to some extend even Agni-III missiles were capable enough to hit targets deep inside the Chinese mainland including Beijing but it was fast-tracked following the 2020 Galwan Valley skirmish with Chinese forces. Unlike Agni-IV and Agni-III that had to be deployed closer to the border area to hit various Chinese cities which allowed easier tracking and also provided the Chinese ability to neutralize them before India could use them, Agni-V can be deployed at India’s deep depth that will make it impossible for Chinese to pre attempt strikes on the missile site and its ability to remain mobile also spooked main CCP leadership after Internal assessment flagged Agni-V on verge of being deployed by India especially with MIRV capabilities.

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