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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

India test-fires surface-to-surface Prithvi III missile

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Oct 27, IRNA -- India`s most sophisticated medium range 
surface-to-surface missile `Prithvi` III, capable of carrying nuclear 
warheads within a range of up to 300 kms, on Wednesday was 
successfully test-fired from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at 
Chandipur-on-sea, about 15 kms from Balasore in the eastern Indian 
state of Orissa. 
Indian Ministry of Defense spokesman B.S. Menon told IRNA on 
telephone that the indigenously developed 8.5-meter-high and 
one-meter-thick sleek missile, which was fired at 11:29 p.m. (local 
time), has a range of 250-300 kilometers. 
Prithvi, one version of which has already been inducted in the 
Indian Army and successfully test-fired, is the naval version of the 
missile which can be equipped with both conventional and nuclear 
warheads and has a capacity of carrying warheads weighing up to 1000 
kg. 
It uses a two-stage propellant, both solid and liquid, the defense
sources said. 
Prior to the test-firing of the missile, 227 families comprising 
about 2,000 people including nearly 600 children were evacuated from 
eight villages close to the launchpad by the district authorities as 
a precautionary measure, official sources said. 
DRDO chief M. Natarajan and scientists who designed the missile 
witnessed the test launch. 
The missile and its sub-system, being developed under the project 
name K-15, had to undergo a rigorous check up before the actual trial 
took place, the sources said. 
The surface to surface single stage ballistic missile can be 
launched from either a ship or submarine and is capable of destroying 
land targets fitted with latest onboard computer and internal 
navigation system and tracked through an integrated system of 
sophisticated radar, electro-optical tracking instruments, a chain of 
telemetry stations and a naval vessel stationed close to the impact 
point inside the Bay of Bengal. 
A first test of the missile took place on February 22, 1988 from 
Sriharikota in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. 
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