Pakistan launched a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead anywhere in rival India on Monday and said the test's success showed it was ready for wartime use.

The firing of the Hatf VI missile, also known as the Shaheen II, was the first during a field exercise, Pakistan's military said.

"It validated the operational readiness of a strategic missile group equipped with the Shaheen II missile," it said in a statement.

The military says the missile has a range of 1,200 miles, the longest of several missiles in Pakistan's nuclear-capable arsenal. That is enough to hit targets anywhere in archrival India, as well as in Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia.

Navy Chief Adm. Muhammad Afzal Tahir congratulated those responsible for the exercise on the "successful launch and the accuracy of the missile at the target," the statement said.

Tahir said Pakistan could be proud of the "reliability of its nuclear deterrence" and it would further enhance its nuclear capability.

Pakistan became a declared nuclear power in 1998 by conducting nuclear tests in response to those carried out by India.

The South Asian neighbors have fought three wars since gaining independence from Britain in 1947.

However, their relations have improved since 2004, when they began a peace process aimed at resolving their core dispute over the divided Himalayan region of Kashmir, which both claim.

Both countries routinely test missiles.