As I reported yesterday India’s military was preparing to test its new Agni-V missile, an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of traveling 3,100 miles and now the country has confirmed that the test was a success, allowing India to attack Beijing at a moments notice.
An official in the country says the successful test is a “much-needed dissuasive deterrence against China.”
The country’s military plans to launch several more tests over the next two years with the Agni-V missiles prepared for use by 2014. While not fully ready for mass production India’s defense minister said on Thursday “the nation stands tall today.”
The nuclear warhead capable missile will be able to hit targets in Shanghai and Beijing but China’s lead in the missile race left the countries officials with no official response to the test launch.
In the meantime state-owned China Central Television seemed to take more of a tongue-in-cheek approach to the test launch. In the broadcast an announcer said it was:
“A historic moment for India and it shows that India has joined the club of the countries that own ballistic missiles.”
After making that statement the announcer then went on to list various shortcomings of the missile while eventually concluding that the missile doesn’t “post a threat in reality.”
Whether or not the missile actually poses a threat may not be the biggest consideration, the test shows that numerous countries are preparing to defend themselves from threat of a Chinese attack. Countries have recently ramped up their military forces as China continues to claim more territory both on land and at sea.