India on Thursday successfully test-fired nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-V that can strike targets at ranges up to 5,000 km, marking a significant boost to the country's strategic deterrence, people familiar with the development said.
The test-firing of the missile from the APJ Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast came amid India's lingering border row with China.
The Agni-V project is aimed at boosting India's nuclear deterrence against China which is known to have missiles like Dongfeng-41 having ranges between 12,000-15,000 km.
Agni-V can bring almost the entire Asia including the northernmost part of China as well as some regions in Europe under its striking range.
The Agni 1 to 4 missiles have ranges from 700 km to 3,500 km and they have already been deployed.
The Agni-V missile has been successfully test-fired, two people familiar with the matter said.
There is no official word on the night trials of the missile.
The people cited above said the test validated a number of critical aspects of the weapon.
India carried out a similar test of the missile in October last year as well.
The successful test-firing of the missile paves way for its induction into the Strategic Forces Command that takes care of India's strategic assets, the people cited above said.
The missile has a very high degree of accuracy to hit targets. It has a height of 17 metres and it is capable of carrying a 1.5-tonne warhead.
In June, India successfully carried out a night launch of the nuclear-capable Agni-4 ballistic missile, in a boost to India's military capabilities.
Following the test, the Defence Ministry had said that it reaffirmed India's policy of having a 'credible minimum deterrence capability." India has been steadily enhancing its overall military might in the last couple of years.
It has carried out successful tests of a number of missiles during the period.
In May, the extended range version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was test-fired from a Sukhoi fighter jet.
It was the first launch of the extended range version of the BrahMos missile from a Su-30MKI aircraft.
An anti-ship version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was successfully test-fired jointly by the Indian Navy and the Andaman and Nicobar Command in April.