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:

"India's Daughter"

Reuters Showcase

Microfinance

Microfinance

Funding the unfunded: India helps small business borrow to grow  Full Article 

Insurance Sector

Insurance Sector

UK healthcare firm Bupa sees strong growth in India  Full Article 

Sensex Rises

Sensex Rises

Sensex edges up; consumer and healthcare stocks rise  Full Article 

Market Eye

Market Eye

FTSE adds nine Indian firms as large-caps in Asia-Pacific ex-Japan index   Full Article 

Indian Ocean Diplomacy

Indian Ocean Diplomacy

PM Modi to ramp up help for Indian Ocean nations to counter China influence  Full Article 

ECB Bond-Buying

ECB Bond-Buying

ECB raises growth forecasts, to start printing money next week  Full Article 

China Economy

China Economy

China signals "new normal" with lower annual growth target  Full Article 

Pharma Sector

Pharma Sector

Panel recommends waiving late-stage trials for some drugs  Full Article 

E-commerce

E-commerce

China backs e-commerce expansion in win for Alibaba, JD.com  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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