I had posted the other day about India having developed a longer range ballistic missile. Well, India has successfully tested the missile.
The Agni-V missile is expected to become fully operational as early as 2014 after several more tests, The Times of India reported. It has a range of more than 3,100 miles, according to a BBC report.
The LA Times reported that the 50-ton, 55-foot three-stage rocket is named after the Hindu god of fire. However, it said the missile had been dubbed the "China killer" by the Indian press.
The launch, which was flagged well in advance, has attracted none of the criticism from the West faced by hermit state North Korea for a failed bid to send up a similar rocket last week.
But China noted the launch with disapproval.
"The West chooses to overlook India's disregard of nuclear and missile control treaties,'' China's Global Times newspaper said in an editorial published before the launch, which was delayed a day due to bad weather at the test site.
"India should not overestimate its strength,'' said the paper, which is owned by the Chinese Communist Party's main mouthpiece the People's Daily.
Fast emerging as a world economic power, India is keen to play a larger role on the global stage and has long angled for a permanent seat on the Security Council. In recent years it has emerged as the world's top arms importer as it upgrades equipment for a large but outdated military.
"It is one of the ways of signaling India's arrival on the global stage, that India deserves to be sitting at the high table," Harsh Pant, a defense expert at King's College, London, said, describing the launch as a "confidence boost."
NATO said on Wednesday it did not consider India a threat. The U.S. State Department said India's non-proliferation record was "solid,'' while urging restraint.