Pakistan on Saturday successfully test-fired a new air-launched cruise missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, the military said.

The missile, named Hatf-8 or Ra'ad, has a range of 220 miles, an army statement said.

The missile gives the air force a "strategic standoff capability" — the ability to strike over a long distance — and could be fitted with any type of warhead, the army said.

President Gen. Pervez Musharraf congratulated the scientists and engineers who developed the weapon, it added,

Pakistan routinely tests various nuclear-capable missiles in its arsenal, believed to be designed mainly to match that of neighboring archrival India.

The two countries have fought three wars since gaining independence from Britain in 1947. Both carried out underground nuclear tests in May 1998.

However, in 2004 they began a series of negotiations to normalize relations and settle their dispute over the divided Himalayan territory of Kashmir, over which two wards have been fought.