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India test fires nuke capable missile

On the heels of conducting trials of interceptor missiles, India today revived its surface-to-air nuclear-capable Akash missile programme by carrying out its fresh test firing near Balasore.

The multi-target missile with a strike range of 25 km and capable of carrying a nuclear warhead of 50kg was test fired from a mobile launcher, defence sources said.

The missile targeted a flying object using Pilotless Target Aircraft (PTA) ''Lakshya'' as support system, they said, adding the PTA was flown at 11.36 hrs and ''Akash'' missile test-fired at around 11.55 am from the ITR.

For the next ten days, a series of test firings of the missile would be carried out to pave the way for its induction into the Indian Air Force.

IAF had not been satisfied by performance of the missile in earlier test firings and this had led to Government clearing a deal to procure ground-to-air missiles from Israel.

The trial was carried out to fine-tune the sophisticated missile, though Akash has undergone several tests earlier as part of the country's Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGPMD), sources said.

The Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) at Hyderabad, the nodal agency which designed the missile, has also approved its ''flight consistency'', they said.

The 5.6-metre-long missile weighing about 700 kg uses an integral ''Ramjet'' rocket propulsion system and has a low reaction time.


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