India tests nuclear-capable missile: defence official
Bhubaneswar, India (AFP) Nov 23, 2009
India carried out a night-time test of a nuclear-capable, medium-range ballistic missile off its eastern coast on Monday, a defence official said.
The surface-to-surface Agni-II, which can deliver a nuclear warhead to targets within a range of 2,500 kilometres (1,560 miles), was fired from a mobile rail launcher on Wheeler Island off the coast of Orissa state at 7:50pm (1420 GMT).
"It was a user training trial to handle the missile at night," the defence official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The Indian-developed 20-metre-long missile, which has a launch weight of 16 tonnes, is capable of carrying a one-tonne conventional or nuclear warhead.
The missile is one of a series being developed by India's Defence Research Development Organisation as part of the country's deterrent strategy against nuclear-armed neighbours China and Pakistan.
India already has the 3,000-kilometre range Agni-III missile -- the longest in the Agni series -- which can also carry conventional or nuclear payloads.
Unconfirmed reports suggest India is also building an Agni variant with a range of 5,000 kilometres.
The Agni-I missile has a strike range of 1,500 kilometres.
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Russia ups its nuclear triad
Moscow (UPI) Nov 20, 2009
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