India tests nuclear capable missile
Apr 13,2007 00:00 by UPI

NEW DELHI - India Thursday succeeded on its second try in test firing its nuclear-capable Agni-III ballistic missile, reportedly capable of reaching China.

The missile, named after the Hindu god of fire and developed by India's Defense Research and Development Organization, has a range of over 1,865 miles and can reach targets such as Beijing and Shanghai, the Hindustan Times reported.

However, a scientist told the newspaper Agni-III's range falls short of qualifying it as an inter-continental ballistic missile.

The report said Agni-III, one of a series of missiles with the same name, can carry warheads weighing up to 1.5 tons. The missile is nearly 53 feet tall and weight 48 tons.

The test, conducted from a defense base in the eastern coastal state of Orissa, marked another milestone in the development of India's missile technology, the newspaper said. India became a nuclear weapons power in 1998.

The missile was fired from a launching complex on the Inner Wheeler Island, 150 miles from the state capital Bhubaneswar.

Agni-III failed in the first attempt in July 2006 because of a rocket malfunction. Agni-I and Agni-II are in the short- to medium-range category.

Copyright ©  2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.