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India To Test Long-Range Ballistic Missile

The Agni is one of four missiles being developed by India's Defence Research and Development Organisation.
by Staff Writers
New Delhi (AFP) April 08, 2007
India will test its longest-range nuclear-capable missile this week, almost a year after an unsuccessful attempt of the same rocket system, a defence ministry spokesman said Sunday. "There are plans to conduct the test this week," the spokesman said, declining to give details.

Preparations to test the 3,500-kilometre (2,710-mile) range Agni-III have been completed, the Press Trust of India reported, quoting unnamed defence sources.

India first tested the missile last July, when the prototype veered off course after travelling vertically 12 kilometres (7.4 miles) and crashed into the sea without hitting its designated target.

The failure was attributed to a snag in a strapped-on solid fuel booster rocket.

The missile can be tipped with a one-tonne nuclear warhead and India intends it to become the most lethal guided weapon system in the national arsenal.

It has two solid-fuel stages and has an overall diameter of 1.8 metres (six feet).

The Agni is one of four missiles being developed by India's Defence Research and Development Organisation.

Rivals Pakistan and India routinely conduct missile tests and give advance notice as part of a series of confidence-building measures designed to reduce the risk of accidental nuclear war.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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Iran Says Nuclear Drive Reaches Industrial Scale
Natanz, Iran (AFP) Apr 09, 2007
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced on Monday that Iran is now producing enriched uranium on an industrial scale, risking a deepening of the crisis with world powers over its nuclear drive. Although Ahmadinejad steered clear of disclosing any figures, his speech at Iran's most sensitive nuclear plant signaled that Tehran's atomic programme has stepped up a gear in defiance of UN Security Council sanctions.

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