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Manish Sawankar asked: Is Agni V an ICBM?

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  • A. Vinod Kumar replies: Since the tested range of the Agni V cannot be independently verified, only DRDO's claims could be taken into account. Nonetheless, DRDO declares the system to have around 5000 km range, which is normally identified as an intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM).

    There is no single globally accepted international definition for ICBM ranges, which vary from 5500 km by some groups to anything above 7000 km by others. The literal meaning reflects a capability of the system being able to travel from one continent to another farther one, if one is to trace the origins of ICBM technology and its initial application in the US-Soviet missile competition during the Cold War. In our case, if the intended target is China, then the need for intercontinental coverage doesn't arise as Beijing would be roughly within 4000 km from Delhi.