May 7, 2008 / 7:21 AM / 9 years ago

India tests nuclear-capable Agni III missile

India's nuclear-capable Agni-III missile takes off in its third flight launch system at Wheeler Island, 12 km from the coast of Orissa May 7, 2008.Ministry of Defence/Handout

BHUBANESWAR, India (Reuters) - India successfully tested a home-grown, long-range missile on Wednesday, capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to targets more than 3,000 km away, the government said.

It was the third test -- and the second successful one -- of the Agni III missile, which can hit targets deep inside China, a country India briefly fought in 1962 over border disputes that have not yet been resolved.

India has also built short-range missiles that can be fired at Pakistan, its nuclear-armed rival.

"It was a textbook launch," a government statement said.

The missile was launched on Wednesday morning from an island a short distance off the coast of Orissa and landed 3,000 km away in the sea somewhere south of the equator about 13 minutes later, the statement said.

India is also designing a missile with an even longer range called Agni IV, which will be able to reach targets 5,000 km away. The country has also begun testing its indigenous anti-ballistic missile system, which is hoped will be ready within the next few years.

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