Indian military test-fires nuclear-capable missile

India test-fires nuclear

October 12, 2009 10:30


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India test-fired a nuclear-capable missile with a short range of 350 kilometers on Monday, a defense ministry official said. Monday's test was considered routine and unlikely to aggravate tensions with longtime rival Pakistan. The surface-to-surface missile, "Prithvi-II" (Earth), was fired from a test range in Chandipur in the eastern state of Orissa as a trial by the army, the official said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to talk to reporters. It can carry a warhead weighing up to 500 kilograms, the official said. The Indian army already has inducted a shorter version of the missile, "Prithvi-I," with a range of 150 kilometers. It can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads. India's current crop of missiles is mostly intended for confronting neighboring archrival Pakistan. The two countries routinely test-fire missiles, but usually notify each other ahead of the launches in keeping with an agreement between the two nations. They have been holding peace talks since 1994 aimed at resolving their differences, including their dispute over the Himalayan region of Kashmir. The two countries have fought three wars since their independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over control of Kashmir.

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