India ready to test-fire 5,000-km ICBM Agni-V

Hyderabad: India is ready to test-fire its 5,000km, intercontinental ballistic missile Agni-V (A-5) though the government is not ready to reveal when this may happen. When deployed, the missile will bring even the Chinese capital Beijing within the ambit of India's strategic missile forces.

The Agni-IIIInteracting with the media on Friday defence minister AK Antony said the missile was a direct outcome of the denial of technology regime which foreign powers brought to bear against India.

"The denial has only given us an opportunity to develop a 5,000km range missile," Antony said. He was speaking after laying the foundation stone for expansion of the Mishra Dhatu Nigam Ltd (MIDHANI) defence public sector company.

A completely indigenous system the 5,000-km range Agni-V nuclear-capable missile can reach most targets in the northern region of China including its capital Beijing.

Antony pointed out that development of the system showed that Indian scientists could overcome sanctions and denial regimes in critical areas and provide solutions. "When we face denial, we should take it us a God-sent opportunity and a challenge," he informed the scientists present on the occasion.

Antony rejected suggestions that the defence sector would be unable to replace a whole generation of outstanding scientists with their retirement. He said that new blood would be injected.