India says it has successfully test-fired its longest-range missile, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead across much of Asia and the Middle East.

India's defense ministry says the Agni-three missile was launched Thursday from Wheeler Island, off the eastern Indian state of Orissa.  The ministry described the test as a "milestone" in India's development of missile technology.

This is the second time India has test-fired the Agni-three missile.  Its first test ended in failure last July.

The Agni-three has a range of more than 3,000 kilometers, putting China's major cities within striking distance.

India has been developing home-grown missiles since 1983 as part of efforts to establish itself as a world power.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.