India test-fires missile amid perceived threats from China, Pakistan

India test-fires missile amid perceived threats from China, Pakistan

India tested a long-range ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear weapons on Thursday, paving the way for membership to a small list of countries with access to intercontinental missiles and putting most of China in its reach.

India has successfully tested a surface-to-surface ballistic missile.

The three-stage missile took off from Abdul Kalam Island, a part of Integrated Test Range, about 9:50 a.m. local time, dropping a stage over the Bay of Bengal, The New Indian Express reported. All objectives of the mission have been successfully met.

"If there are hostilities, and if there are contingencies, then India has something which can deter China or at least make China think twice", he said.

China and have always been competitors, with relations straining periodically over the decades since the two fought a border war against each other in the Himalayas.

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CNN says the nuclear-capable Agni-5 is believed to be India's most advanced ICBM.

The test was characterized as a "major boost" to the country's defense capabilities.

The newspaper said Indian authorities intend to carry another Agni-5 test sometimes within the year so that may "gate-crash into the super-exclusive club of countries with ICBMs ... like the U.S., Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom".

Agni-5's range is also less than half that of North Korea's recent launches and nobody expects it to lob missiles at any of those locations, because it's a stable and peaceful democracy that generally observes global laws.

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