NEW DELHI – India on Sunday test-launched a nuclear-capable missile able to carry a one-ton warhead, the defense ministry said. The weapon has a range of up to 1,560 miles — easily within striking distance of any of India’s near neighbors — and is designed to carry both conventional and nuclear warheads.
The Agni II was launched at India’s test range on the coast of eastern Orissa state, Defense Ministry spokesman Amitabh Chakravorty said.
The launch, the third trial of the Agni II, was witnessed by Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee and more than 100 scientists and military officials, ministry official B.S. Menon told The Associated Press.
Indian authorities had informed their counterparts in Pakistan about the test ahead of time, Menon said. Both the neighboring nuclear-armed rivals alert the other when testing missiles designed for military use. India and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence from Britain more than a half century ago.
Scientists at India’s Defense Research and Development Organization conducted previous tests of the missile in April 1999 and in January 2001.
Sunday’s test was successful, checking out for guidance accuracy and in-flight performance, Menon said.
India’s missile arsenal also includes the short-range ballistic missile Prithvi; the medium-range Akash missile; the anti-tank Nag missile; and the supersonic Brahmos missile.