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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

India test fires "Prithvi" missile

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Nov. 19, 2006 -- As a part of the country's air defence exercise, "Prithvi", India's sophisticated surface-to-surface medium range missile, has been test fired from the integrated test range (IRT) at Chandipur-on-sea, about 15 km from Balasore (Orissa).

Mounted on a mobile launcher, the indigenously built single-stage missile has been test fired at 0955 hours from the launch complex No.

3 of the ITR, Indian Government news website reported here.

The missile has a range of 150 to 250 km, which can be enhanced with a reduced payload.

The latest flight trial of Prithvi has been carried out as "part of the country's air defence exercise," according to a defence source.

Some more trials of the missile, as a target missile, may also be conducted in the coming weeks, the source said.

The 8.65 meter high and one meter thick missile has already been inducted into the army and two specially trained missile groups had been raised to handle the sophisticated missile.

With a launch weight of 4.6 tons which included payload of one ton, Prithvi can use both solid as well as liquid propellant.

The missile takes 300 seconds to reach the target located at a distance of 150 km.

As a safety measure, the Balasore district administration had temporarily evacuated 600 families (2786 persons) from villages located within a two km radius of the ITR launch pad to two large shelters this morning.

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