India tests nuclear-capable missile

INDIA tested a medium-range nuclear-capable missile along its eastern coast today, an official said, as part of the nation’s efforts to build up its atomic deterrent.

The indigenous surface-to-surface Shourya missile was fired from a range in the eastern state of Orissa as a trial for the Indian army, said SP Dash, director of the Integrated Test Range.

“The launch of the missile was perfect. It followed the path exactly to the predefined target in the Bay of Bengal,” Mr Dash said.

India’s Defence Research Development Organisation is developing a series of missiles as part of the country’s deterrent strategy against neighbouring Pakistan and China, which also have nuclear weapons.

The Shourya – built domestically and developed for the army – is being fine-tuned after its debut in November 2008.

With a striking range of 700 kilometres, the missile uses solid propellant and is capable of carrying a 1000 kilogram warhead.

Due to security concerns, authorities evacuated over 2000 people, including women and children living close to the testing range, and shifted them to temporary shelters.

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