India has successfully test-fired a nuclear-capable ballistic missile from an underground platform in the Bay of Bengal, local news reports said on Sunday.
According to the Press Trust of India, the missile would soon be ready for deployment on various other platforms, including nuclear submarines.
The Hindu reported that this was the missile’s twelfth flight trial, and that it rose to an altitude of 20 km and reached a distance of about 700 km before it splashed back down into the waters. The mission met all objectives, V.K. Saraswat, India’s defense minister said.
The Associated Press reported that both India and it’s nuclear-armed rival and border country, Pakistan, routinely test their missiles. The two countries have fought three wars since they gained independence in 1947. Two of those wars have been over Kashmir. The latest, the so-called Kargil war, was fought as recently as 1999.
In recent weeks, tensions between the two countries have reached an all time high after both fired across the line of control in the disputed territory of Kashmir. On Jan. 6, Indian soldiers fired across the border, killing a Pakistani solider. India said its soldiers fired in response to Pakistani shelling. Two days later, India claimed Pakistani troops killed two of its soldiers, beheading one of them post-mortem. Though Pakistan denied the allegations, on Jan. 10 Pakistani troops claimed Indian troops fired across the border, killing another soldier.
However, the successful flight of the K-5 missile means that India has completed a nuclear triad— the country is now capable of launching missiles from air, land and sea. This last test gives India the capability of hitting targets in eastern Europe, east Africa, and the Australian coast.