India test fires new nuclear-capable missile

Launch of missile with range of 3000 km seen as routine test.

India test-fired its new nuclear-capable Agni III missile Sunday, a news report said. The launch took place at India's main missile testing center in Orissa state in eastern India, Press Trust of India news agency reported. A person who answered the phone at the Defense Ministry said no one was available to comment because the officials involved were all at the test site. The launch of the missile, with a range of 3,000 kilometers (1,865 miles), is seen as a routine test, and not saber-rattling with India's nuclear-armed archrival Pakistan. New Delhi and Islamabad regularly test-fire missiles, but normally only give each other prior notice for long-range launches. It was not immediately clear whether India informed Pakistan ahead of Sunday's test. Indian Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee was at the launch complex, on Wheeler Island off the Orissa coast, to witness the launch of the missile, PTI reported. The missile was launched at 11:05 Indian time (0635 GMT) and splashed down near the Nicobar islands in the Bay of Bengal, PTI, quoted defense officials as saying.