India test fires nuclear-capable missile

Nov. 25, 2010 at 3:02 PM
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BALASORE, India, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- India test fired an upgraded version of its most powerful nuclear-capable missile on the eve of the second anniversary of the Mumbai attacks, officials said.

The surface-to-surface Agni-1 ballistic missile, powered by solid propellants, was successfully launched Thursday at a target in the Bay of Bengal from a rail mobile launcher on an island defense base in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, defense officials said.

The 12-ton missile is part of an arsenal intended as a deterrent to Pakistan and China, India's nuclear-armed neighbors.

After a vertical liftoff, the missile rose into the sky, leaving behind a ribbon of smoke, The Times of India reported. Ground radar, telemetry stations and naval ships positioned close to the intended impact point monitored the missile's course, the newspaper said.

Agni-I -- developed by India under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program -- has a strike range of 435 to 560 miles.

The test came a day before the second anniversary of the 2008 Mumbai attacks by alleged Islamic terrorists that killed an estimated 175 people and wounded at least 308.

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