India on Thursday successfully test fired a new missile capable of delivering a one-tonne nuclear warhead anywhere in rival China, marking a major advance in its defence capabilities.
Watched by hundreds of scientists, the Agni V was launched from a test site off the eastern state of Orissa.
India views the rocket, which has a range of 5,000 kilometres (3,100 miles), as a key boost to its regional power aspirations and one that narrows -- albeit slightly -- the huge gap with China's technologically advanced missile systems.
The test leaves India knocking at the door of a select club of nations with inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), which have a minimum range of 5,500 kilometres.
Currently only the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- possess a declared ICBM capability.
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