India

India successfully test-fires nuclear capable ballistic missile

385385_India-Agni-II-missile

The Indian army has successfully test-fired its medium-range nuclear-capable Agni-II (Fire-II) missile with a range of more than 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles) in India’s eastern state of Odisha.

The 20-meter surface-to-surface missile was blasted off from a mobile launcher at Wheeler Island, located approximately 150 kilometers (93 miles) from the state capital, Bhubaneshwar, at around 9:40 a.m. local time (0410 GMT) on Sunday.

The 17-ton Agni-II rose to an altitude of about 600 kilometers (372 miles), before nose-diving and going down into Bay of Bengal waters near its pre-designated impact point.

The two-stage missile is reportedly powered by a solid rocket propellant system. It is also equipped with an advanced high-accuracy navigation system and is guided by a sophisticated command and control system.

Agni-II, developed by India’s Advanced Systems Laboratory in cooperation with Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), can be fired from both rail and road mobile launchers. Its range could be also increased to 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles) through reducing its payload.

India has routinely carried out missile tests since it demonstrated nuclear weapons capability in 1998. The Indian military has been also engaged in an arms race with the Pakistani armed forces since the partition of Pakistan from India in 1947.

Both neighbors have refused to sign the 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 so.

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