India has successfully launched a missile with nuclear capabilities that has the range to reach China and parts of Europe.
Only the permanent members of the UN Security Council – China, France, Russia the US and the UK – plus Israel, are believed to have such weapons.
India now joins a small group of countries with intercontinental nuclear weapons capabilities after developing the missile through its Agni V programme.
“I sincerely hope that in years to come our scientists and technologists will contribute a lot more to promoting self reliance in defence and other walks of national life,” said Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Trying to update its military, India is the world’s largest importer of arms and has been seeking a place on the UN’s Security Council for a long time.
China’s nuclear programme is more advanced than India’s and Beijing says it is not concerned about the firing of the missile.