India set to test new Agni V rocket next week

NEW DELHI Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:53pm IST

Related Topics

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India is within days of test-firing a long-range rocket capable of reaching deep into Asia and Europe, a move that would bring the emerging power into a small club of nations with intercontinental defence capabilities.

Scientists are preparing to launch the nuclear warhead-enabled Agni V, with a range of more than 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles), between April 18 and 20, a defence ministry official with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Friday. The official asked not to be named.

Only the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -China, Russia, France, the United States and the United Kingdom - along with Israel, are believed to have such long distance missiles.

The launch will be closely monitored by India's nuclear-armed rivals China and Pakistan and by Western countries, but is unlikely to draw the kind of criticism aimed at North Korea after its own failed long-range rocket launch on Thursday.

India has a no-first-use policy and says its nuclear weapons and missiles are for defensive purposes only.

"India's missile programme is not directed against any country. The missiles are purely for the purpose of deterrence," said Ravi Kumar Gupta, a senior scientist and director at the government-run Defence Research and Development Organisation that developed the rocket.

"No first use has always been our policy," he said.

The Agni V is designed to be the most advanced version of the indigenously built Agni series, the defence ministry official said. It is powered by solid rocket propellants and can be transported by road.

India has tested several missiles in the past few years as part of its programme which started in the 1960s.

(Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Catherine Evans)

FILED UNDER:
  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Banking

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Tobacco Control

Tobacco Control

India moves toward ban on loose cigarettes to deter smoking   Full Article 

Pressure on RBI

Pressure on RBI

Exclusive - RBI under pressure to cut rates as growth slips  Full Article 

Asset Sale Dates

Asset Sale Dates

India yet to decide on dates for key asset sales - official   Full Article 

Women on Boards

Women on Boards

Germany to introduce legal quotas for women on company boards  Full Article 

OPEC Oil Talks

OPEC Oil Talks

Saudi, Russia pre-OPEC talks yield no oil output cut  Full Article 

India-U.S. Trade

India-U.S. Trade

India, U.S. hold first trade dialogue in four years  Full Article 

SAARC Summit

SAARC Summit

China looms over SAARC summit in the Himalayas  Full Article 

Microsoft in China

Microsoft in China

Microsoft to pay China $140 million for 'tax evasion'   Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage