India successfully tests Agni II medium-range, nuclear-capable missile

New Delhi, Apr 7 (EFE).- India on the weekend successfully tested the ground-to-ground Agni II ballistic missile, which has a range of more than 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles) and can carry a nuclear warhead, authorities said.

The test took place on Sunday at the installation that the Defence Research and Development Organisation, or DRDO, has on Wheeler Island, in eastern Odisha state and the frequent site for this type of testing.

"The launch was successful. All objectives were achieved," a top DRDO official, MVKV Prasad, told the local PTI news agency.

The Agni II is a medium-range missile weighing 16 tons and able to carry a payload of 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds). It is already part of the rocket arsenal of India's armed forces.

The missile is comprised of two stages and can be quick-launched on just 15 minutes' notice from railway or highway launching platforms.

Since gaining independence in 1947, India has been engaged in an arms race with neighboring Pakistan, which also possesses nuclear weapons, but over the past few years New Delhi has focused on developing a deterrent ability vis-a-vis China, with whom it has several border disputes.

Thus, India has developed the ground-to-ground Agni III ballistic missile, which is also nuclear-capable with a range of 3,000 km (1,860 mi.) as well as the Agni IV ground-to-ground nuclear-capable missile, which can hit targets 4,000 km (2,480 mi.) away.

In addition, New Delhi has successfully tested the Agni V, with an estimated range of 5,000 km (3,100 mi.) and is developing the Agni VI, a long-range missile that could carry multiple nuclear warheads.