Agni-5 vs China's DF-17 missile: India's nuclear-capable missile is a gamechanger

 | Updated: Oct 28, 2021, 04:35 PM IST

India's Agni-V can even reach the northernmost parts of China with its strike range of over 5,000 km.

The Agni-V can even reach the northernmost parts of China with its strike range of over 5,000-km.

India successfully test-fired surface-to-surface strategic missile Agni-5 that can strike targets at ranges up to 5,000 km high degree of accuracy.

The Agni 5 project is aimed at enhancing India's "nuclear deterrence" against China which has missiles like Dongfeng-41 with ranges between 12,000-15,000 km.

The work on the Agni-5 intercontinental ballistic missile project was started over a decade ago and the missile was tested seven times before.

The Agni-V can even reach the northernmost parts of China with its strike range of over 5,000-km.


DRDO's Agni

The successful test-firing of the missile, built by the Defence Research Development Organisation's (DRDO), came amid tensions with China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC)

The Agni-5 has a height of 17 metres and it is capable of carrying a 1.5-tonne warhead.

India's missile test comes as reports said China had tested two hypersonic missiles that circled the Earth at low orbit before descending towards the Earth, although it missed its target.

However, China insisted that the test was a "routine" for a spacecraft rather than a missile.

(Photograph:Zee News Network)

India's missile Agni VI

India had conducted the first test of the Agni missile back in 1989, nearly a decade before Pakistan tested its missile. Currently, the DRDO is developing Agni-VI with a range of over 8,000kms. 

The Agni-VI is will reportedly be able to carry 10 nuclear warheads. It will have a range of 8,000 to 10,000 km. It will also be capable of launching from the submarine and from land-based launchers. 


(Image Source: AFP)


China's DF-17 missile

The first test of Agni-5 was carried out in April 2012 while the previous one was conducted around three years ago.

Reports say the successful test firing of the missile paves the way for its induction into the Strategic Forces Command that takes care of India's strategic assets.

China had unveiled a hypersonic medium-range missile, the DF-17, in 2019, which can travel around 2,000 kilometres and can carry nuclear warheads.


Agni II

The Agni 1 to 4 missiles have ranges from 700 km to 3,500 km and they have already been deployed.

The Agni 5 project was aimed at enhancing India's nuclear deterrence against China.

In June, the DRDO successfully test-fired a new generation of 'Agni' class nuclear-capable ballistic missiles that has a range of up to 2,000 km.

Many advanced technologies including propulsion systems, innovative guidance and control mechanisms and state-of-the-art navigation systems have been introduced in the 'Agni Prime' missile.


Agni 2

Agni missile series being developed by DRDO as a deterrent against nuclear-armed neighbours are among India's most sophisticated weapons.

The Agni-5 missile blasted off from Abdul Kalam Island off India's east coast late Wednesday and splashed into the Bay of Bengal.

"The successful test ... is in line with India's stated policy to have 'credible minimum deterrence' that underpins the commitment to 'No First Use' [of nuclear weapons]," a defence ministry statement said.

The 17-metre-tall missile has been tested several times before, but not at night.

(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)


S-400 air defence missile

India has deepened defence cooperation with Western countries in recent years, including in the Quad alliance with the United States, Japan and Australia.

New Delhi is also a major buyer of Russian military hardware and ordered Moscow's S-400 missile defence system despite the threat of US sanctions over the $5.4 billion deal.

The US Navy has said last week that its defence force had successfully tested hypersonic missile technology, a new weapons system that is already being deployed by China and Russia.

The test was conducted Wednesday at a NASA facility in Wallops, Virginia last week. Hypersonic missiles, like traditional ballistic missiles, can fly more than five times the speed of sound (Mach 5).

They are more manoeuvrable than their ballistic counterparts and can trace a low trajectory in the atmosphere making them harder to defend against.


Zircon hypersonic cruise missile

Russia recently launched a hypersonic missile, the Zircon, from a submarine, and since late 2019 has had the hypersonic nuclear-capable Avangard missiles in service.

The Avangard can travel at up to Mach 27, changing course and altitude.

The Pentagon hopes to deploy its first hypersonic weapons by 2025 and has said the development is one of its "highest priorities."

Not to be left behind, North Korea said it has successfully tested a new type of submarine-launched ballistic missile.

A proven submarine-based missile capability would take the North's arsenal to a new level, allowing deployment far beyond the Korean peninsula and a second-strike capability in the event of an attack on its military bases.