India’s Agni-5 can carry multiple nuke warheads

India has previously test-fired multiple Agni-5 missiles, developed by India's DRDO

AFP March 11, 2024
India's Agni-5 Missile, displayed during a rehersal in 2013 for the Republic Day parade in New Delhi. PHOTO: AFP


India has successfully test-fired a domestically developed ballistic missile capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads for the first time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Monday.

Modi said he was "proud" the launch of "the first flight test of indigenously developed Agni-5 missile with Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology", in comments on social media platform X.

The MIRV technology enables the Agni-5 to carry several nuclear warheads at once, so they can split up and hit different targets.

Modi did not give further details of the launch, but India has previously test-fired multiple Agni-5 missiles, developed by India's Defence Research and Development Organisation.

Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh said on X that India had "joined the select group of nations" capable of the missile technology.

Agni, meaning "fire" in Sanskrit, is the name given to a series of rockets India developed as part of a guided missile development project launched in 1983.

Read also: India to procure nuclear-capable missiles worth $2.36b

While the shorter-range Agni-I and II were mainly developed with traditional rival Pakistan in mind, analysts say later versions with a longer range reflect the shift in India's focus towards China.

India has deepened defence cooperation with Western countries in recent years, including in the Quad alliance with the United States, Japan and Australia.


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