The test-firing of the missile from the APJ Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast came amid India’s lingering border row with China.
The Agni-V project is aimed at boosting India’s nuclear deterrence against China which is known to have missiles like Dongfeng-41 having ranges between 12,000-15,000 km.
Agni-V can bring almost the entire Asia including the northernmost part of China as well as some regions in Europe under its striking range.
While the test was carried out days after the clashes, it had been planned earlier. India had announced its intention to test a long-range missile and issued a NOTAM or Notice to Airmen well before the incident in Arunachal’s Tawang.
Notably, Agni-5 is the most advanced missile in the Agni series with a strike range of over 5000 kms. Apart from Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) Agni-5, the Indian armoury of the Agni series includes Agni-1 with a 700 km range, Agni-2 with a 2,000 km range, Agni-3 and Agni-4 with a 2500 km to more than 3500km range.