iBHUBANESWAR : India on Wednesday postponed the launch of its first long-range missile capable of reaching deep inside China and Europe due to bad weather, a govt official said. “Due to heavy lightning in the area, the scheduled test flight of Agni V has been postponed till tomorrow for safety reasons,” defence ministry spokesman Sitanshu Kar told Reuters. A successful test of the domestically-developed Agni-V would be a major step for India, which is increasing its defence capabilities and spending billions of dollars modernising its military.
India has long had missiles capable of striking across Pakistan. The earlier version of its Agni series has a range of 3,500 kilometres, while the new missile would cover the whole of China.
Only China, Russia, France, the United States and Great Britain have full-scale intercontinental ballistic missiles, and the launch would take India closer to joining the elite club.
DRDO chief Vijay Kumar Saraswat told the NDTV new channel that the new missile would reinforce India’s status as regional power.
“It gives us a great edge because our coverage extends to wide boundaries... in terms of technology, we are now competing with the best in the world,” Saraswat said.