India tests nuclear-capable
Friday October 05, 2007
Friday successfully test fired the short-range variant of its
nuclear-capable Agni-1 ballistic missile which can strike most
targets in rival Pakistan, a defence official said.
The Agni-1, which has a range of 700 kilometres
(420 miles), was launched from Wheeler Island at mid-morning off
the eastern state of Orissa, the official said, speaking on condition
"The test matched all mission objectives," said the
Wheeler Island lies 180 kilometres (116 miles) northeast of Orissa
state capital Bhubaneswar.
The Agni -- Sanskrit for fire -- is an intermediate range ballistic
missile that can be fired from mobile launchers.
The official described Friday's test of the 12-metre (39-foot)
missile which can carry a one-ton payload as a "user trial"
for the army.
(Article continues below)
In April, India staged a successful test of Agni-III, its longest
range ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead
more than 3,000 kilometres (1,860 miles).
India, which held nuclear weapons tests in 1998, has developed
a series of nuclear and conventional missile systems as part of
a missile development programme launched in 1983.
The Agni is one of five missiles developed by the Defence Research
and Development Organisation (DRDO). The others are the Prithvi
(Earth), the surface-to-air Trishul (Trident), multi-purpose Akash
(Sky), and the anti-tank Nag (Cobra).
Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan routinely carry out missile
tests and normally notify each other in advance. Two of their
three wars have been over the disputed Himalayan territory of