EghtesadOnline: India successfully test-fired its longest range nuclear-capable missile, confirming its status in the select group of nations with weapons that can travel from one continent to another.
Agni-V, with a range of more than 5,000 kilometers (3,107 miles), completed its final firing test at the Defence Research and Development Organization’s range on Dr. Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of the eastern state of Odisha on Monday, Bloomberg reported.
"This was the fourth test of Agni-5 missile and the second one from a canister on a Road Mobile Launcher," the Ministry of Defence said in a statement. "All the four missions have been successful."
India’s president, Pranab Mukherjee, confirmed the launch with a tweet. "Congratulations DRDO for successfully test firing Agni V. It will enhance our strategic and deterrence capabilities." he wrote. Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon followed with his own tweet: "It will add tremendous strength to our strategic defense."
India’s space and missile programs, along with economic growth of more than 7 percent and a bid for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council, is part of the country’s efforts to build up its defense capabilities and establish itself as a world power.
The locally-developed Agni-V is capable of reaching as far as Beijing, IANS reported in July. India joined a group including the U.S., Russia, China, France and the U.K that have intercontinental ballistic missiles when it first test-fired Agni-V in 2012.
India’s current range of missiles are mostly intended for confrontation with neighboring rivals China and Pakistan. India has fought three wars with Pakistan and one with China.
While differences over border disputes remain, India and China have improved political, economic and military ties in recent years. Relations between India and Pakistan are passing through their worst phase in more than a decade.