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India test-fires nuclear-capable surface-to-surface missile

10 April 2015 7:42


India has successfully test-fired a new domestically-developed nuclear-capable missile with a range of 350 kilometers (nearly 220 miles) in the country’s eastern state of Odisha.

The surface-to-surface Dhanush (Bow) missile blasted off from a naval ship in the Bay of Bengal at 11.02 a.m. local time (0528 GMT) on Thursday, in a trial launch conducted by the Strategic Force Command (SFC) scientists.

“The launch was part of an exercise by the armed forces and the missile reached the designated target with high precision,” an expert at India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) said on condition of anonymity.

“The missile launch and its flight performance were monitored from DRDO telemetry and radar facilities in the Odisha coast,” he said.

The single-stage and liquid-propelled Dhanush missile is capable of carrying a conventional as well as nuclear payload of 500 to 1,000 kilograms. It can strike both land and sea-based targets.

On February 19, India test-fired nuclear-capable Prithvi-II (Earth-II) missile from a mobile launcher at the small sea resort of Chandipur, located about 1,260 kilometers (782 miles) southeast of the capital, New Delhi.

The single-stage Prithvi-II is powered by liquid propulsion twin engines, and is equipped with an advanced inertial navigation system. The missile is capable of carrying 500 to 1,000 kilograms of warheads.

This file photo shows the Indian nuclear-capable surface-to-surface Prithvi-II (Earth-II) missile.

India has routinely carried out missile tests since it first demonstrated its nuclear weapons capability in 1998. India has also been engaged in an arms race with its neighbor Pakistan since the partition of the two countries in 1947.

Both neighbors have refused to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and other international regulatory pacts that restrict developing or testing nuclear weapons.

India considers the NPT as discriminatory, while Pakistan has indicated that it will not join the international treaty until its neighbor does.

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