The Indian government declared a large part of the northeast as a ‘no-fly zone' on the 15th and 16th of December. This also includes the Bay of Bengal region, from APJ Abdul Kalam island in Odisha up to northeast. This is a distance of over 5400 km. These developments were notified by the government of India a month ago, and it is only yesterday that the public found out it why. India is testing its nuclear-capable missile Agni V in this area. The region for testing is chosen to give China's growing military aggression along the border area, especially Arunachal Pradesh.
What is Agni V?
It is a long-range, nuclear-capable, intercontinental ballistic missile. With a range of over 5000 km, it is a first for India. It is the fifth in a series of medium and long-range nuclear capability missiles developed by DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) back in 2008.
This is the first time night trials were done of the missile. The idea was to try out new equipment and technology which is lighter than ever before. This helps increase the range and portability. These tests are sixth in the series with the first one having been conducted in 2008. It is a surface-to-surface ballistic missile developed under the IGMDP (Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme)
The ballistic missiles fly into outer space peaking at 1400km above sea level before returning sharply at extreme speeds. This fire-and-forget missile can be halted only by an interceptor missile. India boasts of a fleet of these missiles including Prithvi II, Agni I, Agni II, Agni III, and Agni IV. In fact, India holds the distinction of being one of the few countries having nuclear capability. Adding another feather in its cap, Agni V can also be launched from a submarine.
Why do we need these missiles?
Right before these trials, the Chinese spy ship Yang Wang 5 was seen spying in the Indian Ocean region amid the Arunachal faceoff. The ship has strong radars, which have a strong propensity of detecting these missiles. However, Agni V with its 5000 km range has the capability to reach the northernmost part of China. It is crucial to serving as nuclear deterrence, especially against China Dongfeng-41. India has a no-first-use policy, that is, we will not launch an attack first, but these gadgets help serve as a warning to the ones who do choose to attack us.