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India test fires ballistic missile

Press TV | May 09, 2007 

India has successfully tested an indigenously-built nuclear-capable ballistic missile from a defense base in an eastern coastal state.

The Prithvi-1 (Earth 1) surface-to-surface missile was fired Wednesday from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, 200 kilometers (125 miles) from Orissa's state capital Bhubaneswar, AFP reported.

The 8.5-meter-long (28-foot) missile with a range of up to 250 kilometers can carry a one-tone conventional or nuclear warhead and travel 150 kilometers in five minutes.

The test was "part of a continued effort to improve the indigenously-developed missile", said an official at the government's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) on condition of anonymity.

It is designed for battlefield use against troops or armored formations, he said.

Nuclear-capable India and Pakistan -- which have fought three wars, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir -- routinely carry out missile tests and normally notify each other in advance. They test fired series of their missiles in March and April.

The Prithvi is India's first locally-built ballistic missile, and one of five being developed by New Delhi, along with the Agni, Trishul, Akash and Nag.

Two other variants of the Prithvi, with a strike range of between 250 and 350 kilometers, will be handed over to the navy and air force once tests are completed, said an official.

Last month, India tested the Agni-III, an intermediate range ballistic missile which can reach the Chinese cities of Beijing and Shanghai.

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