India tests nuclear capable missile

India has tested another of its missiles with the capability of carrying a nuclear warhead.

    The tested Agni missile is one of several in India's arsenal

    An Indian defence official says the military tested a short range variant of its nuclear capable surface to surface Agni missile from a testing site off the country's east coast on Sunday. 

    The missile, with a strike range of 700 kilometres (around 435 miles), was tested from a mobile launcher at Wheeler Island off the coast of eastern Orissa state, the official said.

    The test took place at 10:10 am (0440 GMT), he added.

    The Agni was first tested on May 22, 1989, the UNI news agency reported. The tested missile, one of the variants of the Agni (Fire) series, can carry a one-tonne payload.

    Defence Ministry spokesman Amitabh Chakravarty in New Delhi described the test as "a perfect launch".

    The test comes within weeks of talks between India and Pakistan on reducing the risk of nuclear confrontation.

    In the June 19-20 talks in New Delhi, both sides agreed to set up a hotline to prevent nuclear confrontation, to continue a ban on nuclear tests and to conclude an agreement on informing each other in advance about impending missile tests.

    It also comes just days after media reports in Pakistan quoted President Pervez Musharraf as saying that Islamabad would conduct an "important" missile test in two months. 

    SOURCE: AFP


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