NEW DELHI- India aims to test a new nuclear-capable missile with a range of more than 5000-km (3,100- miles), a top military scientist said on Wednesday, a move that could complicate security in a volatile region.
Agni-V is out of the drawing board. We are aiming for a flight trial within a year, V.K. Saraswat, India's chief military scientist told reporters.
India successfully tested the Agni-III missile, which has a 3000-km range, at the weekend and is ready to bring it into the military.
Any addition to India's military capability is viewed with suspicion by rival Pakistan and usually touches off tit-for-tat efforts by Islamabad.
India's announcement comes at a time when it is trying to improve relations with Pakistan and has sought to restart a dialogue it broke off after the 2008 Mumbai attack.
The United States also remains wary of any spike in tensions between the South Asian rivals because that could give Islamabad an excuse to cite a threat from India on its eastern border, and divert focus from fighting the Taliban on its western border.
While Agni-III missiles can reach many of China's major cities, the latest one could cover several several European capitals and West Asia.
Saraswat said Agni-V had a 1.5 tonne nuclear warhead payload.
You can reduce the payload and (further) increase the range, he said.
(Reporting by Bappa Majumdar; Writing by Krittivas Mukherjee; Editing by Jerry Norton)