Monday, September 26, 2011

India tests nuclear-capable missile

India successfully test-fired a short-range, nuclear-capable missile on Monday, the Defence Ministry said.

The Prithvi missile was fired from a testing range in Chandipur in Orissa state and hit its target in the Bay of Bengal with high accuracy, Defence Ministry spokesman N Ao said. The surface-to-surface missile has a range of 350 kilometres and can carry a warhead weighing up to 500 kilogramms.

“The flight test of the Prithvi missile met all the mission objectives and was a perfect textbook launch,” Ao said. The army already deploys Prithvi missiles but they are regularly test-fired to hone their accuracy and speed. India also is developing other missiles, including the medium-range Agni and Akash missiles, the anti-tank Nag, the ship-launched Dhanush missile and the supersonic Brahmos missile, designed jointly with Russia.

India’s missiles are mostly intended for any confrontation with rival Pakistan. Both South Asian neighbours routinely test missiles and Monday’s launch was unlikely to aggravate tensions. The countries normally inform each other before carrying out long-distance missile tests.

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