India test-fired a long range missile capable of reaching deep into China and Europe on Thursday, thrusting the emerging Asian power into an elite club of nations with intercontinental nuclear weapons capabilities.
A scientist at the launch site said the launch was successful, minutes after television images showed the rocket with a range of more than 5,000 km (3,100 miles) blasting through clouds from an island off India’s east coast.
“It has met all the mission objectives,” S.P.Dash, director of the test range, told Reuters. “It hit the target with very good accuracy.”
The Indian-made Agni V is the crowning achievement of a now-mothballed missile programme developed primarily with a possible threat from neighbouring China in mind.
Only the UN Security Council permanent members – China, France, Russia the United States and Britain – along with Israel, are believed to have such long-range weapons.
Fast emerging as a world economic power, India is keen…
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