India test fires 2 nuclear-capable missiles

AP News
Posted: Mar 11, 2011 4:11 AM
India test fires 2 nuclear-capable missiles

India has tested two versions of its short-range missiles capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads, a defense ministry official said Friday.

The first missile was test fired from a navy warship in the Bay of Bengal off the coast of eastern Orissa state, said defense ministry spokesman Sitanshu Kar.

"The missile test was a success and hit the intended targets," Kar said.

The home-developed Dhanush, or Bow missile, is a ship-launched missile with a range of up to 220 miles (350 kilometers).

An hour later, a second short-range missile was tested. The nuclear-capable surface-to-surface Prithvi missile was fired from India's missile testing range at Chandipur, also in Orissa, the defense ministry said.

The Prithvi missile, which can hit targets up to 185 miles (295 kilometers) away, is already in use by the Indian army.

Both missiles were tested Friday for timing, deployment and accuracy factors, the ministry said in a statement. The Dhanush is not yet in regular use by the navy.

India is developing a range of other missiles to strengthen its defense capability, including the medium-range Agni and Akash missiles, the anti-tank Nag, and the supersonic Brahmos missile, designed jointly with Russia.

India's missiles are mostly intended for any confrontation with neighboring archrival Pakistan. But Friday's test was unlikely to aggravate tensions between India and Pakistan as both countries routinely conduct missile tests.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since their independence from Britain in 1947, two over control of the Himalayan region of Kashmir.

The countries normally inform each other before carrying out long-distance missile tests. It was not immediately clear if Pakistan had been informed about Friday's test.