India fires a 5,000-kilometer-range ballistic missile

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The Defence Ministry said that India has successfully tested a ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear payload up to 5,000 kilometers. The media dubbed a “stern signal” to China as the two countries continue embroiled in a border dispute. The Agni-5 missile was launched from Abdul Kalam Island off India’s east coast late Wednesday (October 27) and landed in the Bay of Bengal.
“The successful test… is consistent with India’s declared policy of ‘credible minimum deterrence,’ which underlies the commitment to ‘No First Use’ (of nuclear weapons),” according to a statement from the Defence Ministry.
The 17-meter-tall rocket has previously been tested, but not at night, and local media speculated that the timing was intended to convey a message to Beijing.
Since confrontations on their disputed Himalayan border killed 20 Indian troops in June of last year, tensions with China have increased.
Since then, the nuclear-armed neighbors have sent tens of thousands of additional troops to the border.
In recent years, India has increased defense cooperation with Western nations, especially the Quad alliance of the US, Japan, and Australia. Despite the prospect of US penalties over the US$5.4 billion (S$7.28 billion) sale, New Delhi is a significant customer of Russian military gear, having ordered Moscow’s S-400 missile defense system.

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