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India test-fires nuclear-capable Agni-V

India test-fires nuclear-capable Agni-V

India successfully carried out a "first pre-induction trial" of the Agni-V missile, in a move which will further ratchet up tensions with neighbours Pakistan.

"With this missile launch, India has emerged as a major missile power", Defense Ministry science advisor V.K. Sarawat told The Hindu newspaper.

The missile was tested from Dr. Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha state, according to the Economic Times.

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The test was the new weapon's final operational configuration, bringing it one step closer to being a deployable warhead in India's land-based ballistic missiles arsenal. Confirming the development, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said: "We have successfully launched nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-V today". The sophisticated missile traveled for 19 minutes and covered 4,900 km. Its last test was held in December a year ago. All You Need to Know. The Federation of American Scientists estimates India has 120 to 130 nuclear weapons in its inventory, placing it among the nine countries worldwide known to possess such weapons. Sparked by China's decision in June to construct a road in the Doklam Plateau, a region claimed by both Beijing and the tiny Indian ally Bhutan, the friction lasted months and prompted both China and India to beef up the troop presence there.

Once the Agni-V is inducted, India will join the super-exclusive club of countries with ICBMs (missiles with a range of over 5,000-5,500km) alongside the US, Russia, China, France and the UK.

But it's also in a near-permanent state of mid-level conflict with Pakistan, has in recent months rubbed up against China and a year ago abstained from a United Nations vote on the abolition of nuclear weapons.