India conducted a successful test of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)

On January 18, India conducted a successful test of its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), a nuclear-capable Agni-5.

The missile, with a range of about 5,500km, could reach Chinese coastal cities as well as adding to the Indian arsenal that could potentially hit Pakistan.

The picture is not a part of the diplomatic leak 2018.

By some accounts the Agni-5 ICBM has been tested five times since 2012, and this latest test is thought to be a pre-induction trial before it is effectively deployed.

Some analysts believe that another longer-range, bigger-payload Agni-6 ICBM, capable of carrying multiple warheads could be under development, although the Indian authorities have not confirmed these reports.

India’s growing nuclear ICBM capability is likely to lead China to step up its efforts to deploy a strategic missile defence system. It is worth noting that India joins Australia Group

The day after its army tested its most powerful ICBM missile, India was accepted as the 43rd member of the Australia group, an informal forum of countries which seeks to ensure that exports do not contribute to the development of chemical and biological weapons (CBW) by other states or by terrorist groups.

In the last two years India has stepped its efforts to be sign up to international/multilateral non-proliferation regimes: in 2016 it acceded to two missile non-proliferation treaties – The Hague Code of Conduct and the Missile Technology Control Regime – and just last month it joined the Wassenaar export control regime.

By joining these regimes India intends to build its credentials as a responsible power, especially at a time when it is building its defence capabilities, and to signal that it is willing to contribute to international security by adhering to the strict non-proliferation standards.

India is now likely to turn its attention again its big for the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and to put more pressure on international partners to support its membership (although China – not a member of the Australia Group – is likely to continue blocking its entry into that system).

Mentioned in:


Navigate the dataset