ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Agni-III- Fuelling a Fire

There has been much rejoicing at the success of the recent flight test of Agni-III, the longest range version of this missile. The missile is said to have a range of 3,000 or 3,500 km and capable of reaching Beijing or Shanghai. It has also been described as nuclear capable and having a payload capacity of 1.5 tonnes. What has been missing from all of the newspaper fanfare is any discussion of the potential longer-term implications of the first successful test of Agni-III.

The first and fairly obvious consequence is that it will accentuate the arms race with Pakistan that India is involved in; down the line it could well lead to one with China. The missile race with Pakistan should be news to no one. The Agni test follows on the heels of two tests of nuclear capable missiles earlier this year by Pakistan, one of a cruise missile. This has been the pattern for quite some time and has showed no signs of slowing down in spite of the thaw in relations between the two countries since 2004.

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