Strategic Weapons: Diplomats Shoot Down Agni III


June 7, 2006: In a rare move, India has halted development work on a ballistic missile. The Agni III IRBM (Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile), with a range of about 5,000 kilometers, was really only useful against China. Since India has been working hard to develop better economic and diplomatic ties with China, putting the Agni III on ice seemed a good idea. The first test launch of the Agni III has been delayed several times over the last two years. Shutting down the Agni III project will also save a lot of money, as each Agni III built would have cost $20 million. Not a good investment for a weapon that will only antagonize a nation your are trying to develop better relationships with.

The Agni III development effort was not wasted, as much of the technology can be used for the shorter range Agni II, which is the principal weapon pointed at Pakistan.


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