India on Thursday successfully tested a new long-range missile capable of delivering a one-ton nuclear warhead anywhere in regional military rival China, and countries outside Asia.
The 17-metre (56-foot) Agni V, with a range of more than 5,000 kilometers, was launched at 8:05 (02:35 GMT) from a test site off the eastern state of Orissa, according to the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), which built the missile.
"I am announcing the successful launch of Agni V... making history and making our country proud in the area of missile technology," DRDO head V.K. Saraswat told the NDTV news channel.
"We are today a missile power un-matching to most in the world," Saraswat said.
India views the 50-tonne Agni V as a major boost to its regional power aspirations and one that narrows -- albeit slightly -- the huge gap with China's technologically advanced missile systems.
A successful test leaves India knocking at the door of a select club of nations with inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) with ranges of thousands of kilometers.
Currently only the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- possess a declared ICBM capability.
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