India tests nuke-capable rocket

BHUBANESWAR (India) - India on Wednesday successfully tested a short-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile from a facility in eastern Orissa state, defence sources said.

The test of an improved version of Prithvi-II (Earth) was carried out from Integrated Testing Range at Chandipur-on-sea, some 200 kilometres (125 miles) northeast of state capital Bhubaneswar.

'It was a user trial of the army version of the 150-350 kilometres range Prithvi,' a defence scientist said on condition of anonymity, adding the firing was conducted at 10.20am (12.50pm Singapore time).

The 8.5-metre (28-foot) surface-to-surface missile, first tested in February 1988, can carry a one-tonne conventional or nuclear payload.

South Asian rivals India and Pakistan, which have fought three wars, routinely carry out missile tests but normally notify each other in advance under an agreement.
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