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India tests surface-to-air missile

by Staff Writers
Bhubaneshwar, India (AFP) Jul 23, 2006
India Sunday tested its surface-to-air Trishul missile from a site in the eastern coastal state of Orissa, defence officials said.

The Trishul (Trident) test comes after New Delhi's nuclear-capable Agni III ballistic missile, with a range of 4,000 kilometres (2,480 miles), failed during a trial launch earlier this month.

Trishul, which was last tested in December, is designed for use by the army, airforce and the navy and can carry a 15-kilogram (33-pound) conventional warhead up to nine kilometers (5.5 miles).

It was tested from the Chandipur-on-Sea range, officials said though they declined to say whether the test was successful or not.

The missile has previously been flight-tested in a sea-skimming role and also against land-based and airborne targets.

India has stepped up the testing of three of the five guided-missile systems it developed as part of an ambitious programme launched in 1983 to become self-reliant in missile technology.

India, which tested a series of nuclear devices in 1998, has already developed and deployed two ballistic missiles and a surface missile.

Nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan have fought three wars, two over the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, and frequently test-fire missiles. Under an agreement, each side is notified in advance of missile tests.

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Hezbollah has fired 1,500 missiles and rockets into Israel from southern Lebanon since it triggered the conflict last week, Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres said on British television Tuesday.

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