The surface-to-surface Agni V missile is launched from Wheeler Island off the eastern Indian state of Odisha. Reuters

India Thursday successfully test fired nuclear capable long-range ballistic missile Agni-V, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced in a press statement. With the launch of the missile, which has a range of 3,100 miles, India has joined the elite club of countries with long-range nuclear missile capability.

The Prime Minister congratulated the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) for the achievement and hailed it as milestone in India's quest to add to the credibility of country's security and preparedness.

I congratulate all the scientific and technical personnel of the DRDO (Defense Research and Development Organization) and other organizations who have worked tirelessly in our endeavour to strengthen the defense and security of our country. The entire nation stands together in honoring the achievements of our scientific community who have done the country proud. Manmohan Singh said.

Agni-V was test fired from Wheeler Island off Odisha at 8: 07 am Thursday, and the missile accurately hit the target which was 3,100 miles away, DRDO sources said.

The successful launch is considered as a significant achievement for India as it would help it neutralize the threat from China. However, the DRDO said that the missile launch was not a threat to any particular nation and it was purely for defensive purpose.

This missile is about neutralizing the threat coming from China, Uday Bhaskar, an analyst at the New Delhi-based National Maritime Foundation, told Bloomberg. The tests are about trying to create equality with China rather than trying to outdo it.

Agni-V, the most advanced version of the indigenously built Agni series, was powered by solid rocket propellants that could be transported by road, a Reuters report said. The first missile in the series was launched in 1989.