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India Successfully Tests Surface To Air Missile

File photo of an Akash missile test fire.

Bhubaneshwar, India (AFP) Dec 07, 2005
India successfully tested Wednesday a surface-to-air missile for the second time in five days from a coastal range in the east of the country, a defence official said.

The domestically developed Akash missile was fired from the Chandipur-on-Sea testing site, 200 kilometres (125 miles) northeast of Orissa state capital Bhubaneswar, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Wednesday's test was the fifth of the missile this year.

The 700-kilogramme (1,540-pound) Akash, which means "sky" in Hindi, can track 100 targets simultaneously with onboard radar.

It is able to move at a speed of 600 metres (yards) a second and deliver a 55-kilogram warhead across 27 kilometres in 50 seconds.

The missile is one of five being developed by India's state-run Defence Research and Development Organization, which launched a project in 1983 to build an array of missiles.

It hopes to cap the programme with a ballistic missile with a range of 5,000 kilometres.

Nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan have fought three wars, two over the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, and frequently fire test missiles. The neighbours came close to a fourth war in 2002 but their relations have since warmed as part of a slow moving peace process aimed at settling their decades-old dispute over Kashmir.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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