India's Strategic Forces Command successfully test fired the strategic Agni-II missile on the night of 16 November, the Live Hindustan media outlet reported. A video of the missile successfully launching from the firing range in the eastern Indian state of Odisha was broadcast by Kanak News.
The Agni-II is one of six missiles in the Agni family, comprising the foundation of India's strategic weapons with operational ranges of between 2,000 and 3,500 kilometres. It can carry a variety of warheads, ranging from penetrating and thermobaric to nuclear ones. The more modern, long-range Agni-VI missile is capable of delivering a payload to distances of up to 12,000 kilometres.
India has successfully developed a nuclear triad, made up of land-, sea- and air-launched weapons, and claims to have introduced this as a "credible deterrence", but vows to use it only as a means of response, not for pre-emptive strike purposes. At the same time, India has refused to sign both the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. Its neighbour and regional rival, Pakistan, also possesses a nuclear arsenal without being a signatory to either of the regulating and restricting treaties.