India: Nuke-capable missile test-fired accurately

AP News
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Posted: Jun 09, 2011 5:59 AM
India: Nuke-capable missile test-fired accurately

India test-fired a short-range, nuclear-capable missile Thursday that hit its target accurately, the defense ministry said.

The surface-to-surface Prithvi missile was fired from the testing range in Chandipur in the eastern state of Orissa, said Sitanshu Kar, the defense ministry spokesman. It reached the target in the Bay of Bengal with a very high accuracy," he said.

India's missiles are mostly intended for any confrontation with rival Pakistan, but both countries routinely test missiles and India's latest was unlikely to aggravate tensions.

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

The test was part of a regular training exercise for India's armed forces, Kar said.

The Prithvi missile is already in use by the army. It has a range of 220 miles (350 kilometers) and can carry a warhead of between 1,100 and 2,200 pounds (500 and 1,000 kilograms).

India is developing other missiles to strengthen its defense capability, 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.

Earlier this week, a global think tank said India and Pakistan are continuing to develop new ballistic and cruise missile systems capable of delivering nuclear weapons. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said the South Asian neighbors have added 20-30 nuclear warheads apiece to their arsenals in the past year.

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