India's Integrated Test Range missile testing facility is located on the island.
India's defence ministry hailed the test as a "major boost" to the nation's defence capabilities. With this missile, India joined the US, Russia, the UK, France and China, which boast ICBM capabilities, when it tested its first Agni-V missile in 2012. 'Agni-5 is most advanced missile in the Agni series with new technologies incorporated in it in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine.
Officials confirmed on Twitter the Agni 5 missile was launched from a small island off India's east coast Thursday. Agni-V can carry a nuclear or traditional warhead of about 1.5 tonnes. While these missiles are mainly geared towards Pakistan, the Agni-IV and Agni-V are specifically meant for deterrence against China. In a statement, the Indian Ministry of Defense said that all objectives of the mission had been "successfully met".
New Delhi wants a credible strategic deterrent against an aggressive and expansionist China, which has a large arsenal of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, the report said.More news: Michael Wolff's 'Fire and Fury' to Become TV Series Despite Accuracy Concerns
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He wrote: "Successful test firing of Agni-V ICBM makes every Indian very proud".
China has criticized India's development of the Agni 5 in the past. After four successful developmental trials, this was the first user associate test of Agni-5 missile, the sources added. The subsequent three launches were from a canister in the deliverable configuration of the missile. There had been tensions between China and India. The two leaders, both considered faces of stark changes in their home countries, spoke glowingly of what the countries could accomplish by working together, CNN reported.
The bloody territorial dispute is believed to be an excuse for India to build up its missile systems.