India successfully test-fired a short-range, nuclear-capable missile on Monday, the Defense Ministry said. The Prithvi missile was fired from a testing range in Chandipur in Orissa state and hit its target in the Bay of Bengal with high accuracy, Defense Ministry spokesman N. Ao said.
The surface-to-surface missile has a range of 220 miles (350 kilometers) and can carry a warhead weighing up to 1,100 pounds (500 kilograms).
“The flight test of the Prithvi missile met all the mission objectives and was a perfect textbook launch,” Ao said.
The army already deploys Prithvi missiles but they are regularly test-fired to hone their accuracy and speed. India also is developing other missiles, including the medium-range Agni and Akash missiles, the anti-tank Nag, the ship-launched Dhanush missile and the supersonic Brahmos missile, designed jointly with Russia. India’s missiles are mostly intended for any confrontation with rival Pakistan. Both South Asian neighbors routinely test missiles and Monday’s launch was unlikely to aggravate tensions.
The countries normally inform each other before carrying out long-distance missile tests. It was not immediately clear whether Pakistan was told about Monday’s exercise. These tests will reinforce Pakistan’s claim that their main threat if on the Indian border and that they can’t move military away from Indian border to launch operation in Waziristan, which seems highly unlikely after these tests of short range nuclear missiles from India intended no doubt for Pakistan.