Despite India’s advances in missile technology, the country is still a decade behind China
February 15, 2010 2 Comments
BEIJING: Despite India’s advances in missile technology, the country is still a decade behind China, a top Chinese defence analyst has claimed and asserted that Beijing does not view New Delhi as its “strategic rival.”
Shrugging off concerns that newer versions of India’s Agni missiles could strike the northernmost tips of China, the state-run Global Times, quoting a top analyst said India may take five more years to achieve this capability.
The analyst also dismissed the claims that India is far ahead of China in developing interceptor technology, the paper said this week, days after India tested the Agni- III, which has a 3,500 km range.
Chinese Rear Admiral Zhang Zhaozhong, a professor at the prestigious Chinese National Defence University, said India is still 10 to 15 years behind China in terms of missile technology.
“It’s still unknown when the Agni-III will be deployed by the Indian army, though they claim the missile is ready for use. And it might take at least another five years to ready the Agni-V,” Zhang was quoted as saying.
He also claimed that China did not see India as a strategic rival, and developed weapons to counter it.
“In developing its military technology, China has never taken India as a strategic rival, and none of its weapons were specifically designed to contain India,” the Global Times quoted Zhang as saying.
“After Agni III and Agni V, as far as cities in China and Pakistan are concerned, there will be no target that we want to hit but can’t hit,” DRDO chief V K Saraswat had said.
Earlier this week, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu had described China’s ties with India as “friendly and cooperative” and said both countries did not pose mutual threat.
“I don’t want to interpret or comment on the reports,” Ma said when asked to comment on the February seven launch of Agni-III which put China’s major cities within its strike range.
“The China-India relation is friendly and cooperative. China will not be a threat to India, and nor will India pose a threat to China,” Ma said.
India is set to test within a year an Agni-V nuclear- capable missile with a range of more than 5,000 kilometres, Saraswat, had said.
“We feel our accuracy is better than China’s DF 21,” Saraswat had said of the Agni-III, which was test launched on February 7.
The DF-21 is China’s mid-range missile that debuted in 1999, along with its intercontinental ballistic missile, the DF- 31, which the army utilises.
Zhang also dismissed Saraswat’s assertion that India was ahead of China in the area of ballistic missile defence (BMD).
Zhang said the BMD accounts for only part of India’s interception system, which also encompasses early-warning and guidance.
“India’s technology for its measurement and control system, which is used to trace launched missiles, remains at a very low level, and they are unable to constitute a complete and reliable missile defense system,” Zhang claimed.
Beijing test-fired its first missile interception system last month, and successfully tested its anti-satellite system in 2007.
The United States and Russia are the only two countries that have actually deployed missile-interceptor technology.