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India Says First Missile Intercept Test A Success

This military handout picture dated 16 November 2006, shows Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz (C) posing with military officials in front of the medium-range Hatf V, or Ghauri missile, prior to its test fire at an undisclosed location. Photo courtesy of AFP.
by Staff Writers
Bhubaneswar (AFP) India, Nov 27, 2006
India said Monday that its first test of a missile designed to intercept other missiles was a success, amid its ongoing efforts to develop a home-grown ballistic interception system. The test saw a surface-to-surface Prithvi-II (earth) missile shot down over the Bay of Bengal by a similar missile fired seconds later.

The weapons were fired from the country's Chandipur-on-Sea and Wheeler Islands testing sites respectively, about 45 nautical miles (83 kilometres) apart, an officer with the Defence Research and Development Organisation, which conducted the test, said on condition of anonymity.

The Prithvi-II missile, which is capable of carrying conventional or nuclear warheads, was last tested on November 19. It has a range of up to 250 kilometers (156 miles).

Prior to the test, local authorities evacuated more than 2,700 people from the Chandipur-on-Sea launch site area as a precautionary measure in case a missile went off course.

Wheeler Islands are an exclusive defence zone with no civilian population.

The Prithvi missile is part of India's Integrated Guided Missile Development Program to build a missile arsenal ranging from nuclear-capable ballistic missiles to short-range weapons.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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