Page last updated at 04:58 GMT, Tuesday, 24 November 2009

India launches ballistic missile

Agni III missile on parade in Delhi
India's Agni missiles increase military reach

India has test-fired its intermediate-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile, Agni-II.

The surface-to-surface missile was test-fired off an island in Orissa state in eastern India, officials say.

With a range of more than 2,000km (1,250 miles), the missile can carry a nuclear payload of 1,000kg.

The Agni series are among India's most sophisticated missiles. A long range version was successfully test-fired last year.

The Agni-III missile, tested last year, has a range of more than 3,000km (1,865 miles) and could hit targets as far off as Beijing and Shanghai, analysts say.

The Agni-I has a range of 750km (470 miles).

The Agni (literally "fire" in Hindi and Sanskrit) missile family is believed to be the mainstay of the Indian missile-based strategic nuclear deterrence.

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