India on Tuesday successfully test fired one of its longest range missiles capable of carrying a one-tonne nuclear warhead deep inside China, officials said.
A Defence Research and Development Organisation spokesman said the Agni-IV missile was launched at 9:00am (0330 GMT) from a test site in the eastern Indian state of Orissa.
“All the parameters have been met and it was a very successful test,” DRDO spokesman Ravi Gupta told AFP.
He said the nuclear-capable, two-stage missile which is powered by solid fuel was fired beyond the Bay of Bengal into the Indian Ocean. Agni means fire in Sanskrit.
“Agni-IV has a maximum range of 3,500 kilometres (2,170 miles) but this time the launch parameter was 3,000 kilometres,” the official spokesman said.
A previous test of the Agni-IV on December 10, 2010 failed after the missile went off its trajectory and plunged into the sea.
Defence ministry sources said military scientists were also giving the final shape to the 5,000-kilometre range Agni-V, scheduled to be test-fired for the first time early next year.
India has also said it may develop an intercontinental ballistic missile.
The Agni series is one of five missiles being developed by the DRDO under an Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme launched in 1983.
India is among the world’s top 10 military spenders. It plans to splurge $50 billion by 2015 to upgrade its military.
It has fought three wars with rival Pakistan since their independence in 1947 and a brief but bloody border conflict with China in 1962.