Monday, October 12, 2009

India tests nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missiles - Summary

India on Monday successfully test-fired two of its nuclear-capable surface-to-surface Prithvi-II missiles from a military range in the eastern state of Orissa, defence officials said. The missiles, with a strike range of about 350 kilometres, were fired at five-minute intervals from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipore-on-Sea, India's Defence Ministry said in a statement.

"The two missiles aimed at two different targets at about 350 kilometres from the launch point, met all the mission objectives," the ministry said.

Two naval ships tracked and monitored both missiles hitting the targets "very accurately," it said.

Prithvi, which means "Earth" in the Hindi language, is India's first locally built ballistic missile.

It is about 9 metres in length and 1 metre in diameter, and is capable of carrying a payload of 500 kilograms, including nuclear weapons.

Two versions of the missile have been deployed with India's army and air force. Monday's tests were described as part of the user trials.

Prithvi is one of the five missiles being developed by the state-run Defence Research and Development Organization which include the intermediate-range ballistic missile Agni, the surface-to-air missile Akash and the anti-tank missile Nag.

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