India, Pakistan test nuke-tipped missiles on same day

Last Updated: Fri, Mar 11, 2011 07:40 hrs

Balasore/Islamabad, March 11 (IANS) India Friday successfully test-fired its homegrown nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles Prithvi-II and its naval version Dhanush from different locations off the Orissa coast, on a day Pakistan too tested its nuclear-capable Hatf-II ballistic missile.

The Prithvi-II was fired from complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Balasore district, about 230 km from state capital Bhubaneswar at 10.50 a.m.

The Dhanush was launched at 10.03 a.m. from a warship anchored off the Puri coast in the Bay of Bengal.

'Both were fantastic missions, 100 per cent successful' ITR director S.P. Dash told IANS, adding that the tests were carried out as part of training exercises of the armed forces.

The two almost simultaneous user-tests come a week after India successfully tested its ballistic missile interceptor on March 6, as part of its efforts to develop a shield against enemy missiles.

Prithvi II, a surface-to-surface ballistic missile with a range of 350 km, is a variant of India's first indigenously-built ballistic missile. It is one of the five missiles being developed under India's Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.

The missile, with a flight duration of 483 seconds reaching a peak altitude of 43.5 km, has the capability to carry a 500 kg warhead.

Prithvi, which has features to deceive anti-ballistic missiles, uses an advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring capabilities and reaches its target with a few metres of accuracy.

Dhanush, with a range of 350 km, is a single-stage ship-based missile with a 500 kg pay-load and capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads.

The naval missile, with a liquid propellant, is designed to target both sea and shore-based targets. Though Dhanush had failed in its first test at take-off stage on April 11, 2000, its subsequent trials were successful. It was last successfully flight tested on March 27 last year from Indian warship INS Subhadra in the Bay of Bengal.

Pakistan too successfully test-fired the Hatf-II (Abdali) short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile. The missile, with a range of 180 km, can carry nuclear and conventional warheads to the target.

The test-firing was conducted at an undisclosed location and was witnessed by the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Shamim Hyder Wyyne, according to Xinhua. It is the second test of this kind by Pakistan in two months.

Pakistan and India, which have fought three wars since their partition in 1947, regularly test-fire missiles to display each other's capability.

India's missile family comprises of the strategic Agni ballistic missile, the tactical Prithvi ballistic missile, the Akash and Trishul surface-to-air missiles and the Nag anti-tank guided missile and their variants, apart from the BrahMos cruise missile it is jointly developing with Russia.

Pakistan's missile repertory include Hatf ballistic missiles and its variants, Ghaznavi short-range ballistic missile, Ghauri and Shaheen medium and intermediate range ballistic missiles, Babur cruise missiles and Baktar-Shikan anti-tank guided missile, most of which have been developed with China's help.