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India test-fires nuclear-capable surface-to-surface missile

India has successfully test-fired a new domestically developed nuclear-capable surface-to-surface missile with a range of 350 kilometers (nearly 220 miles) in the country’s eastern state of Odisha.

The Prithvi-II (Earth-II) missile blasted off from a mobile launcher at the small sea resort of Chandipur, located about 1,260 kilometers (782 miles) southeast of the capital, New Delhi, at around 9:20 a.m. local time (0350 GMT) on Thursday.

“The trial of the missile conducted by the Strategic Force Command (SFC) was fully successful,” said the Integrated Test Range (ITR)’s Director MVKV Prasad.

“The missile trajectory was tracked by DRDO (Defense Research and Development Organization) radars, electro-optical tracking systems and telemetry stations located along the coast of Odisha,” an Indian military sources said on condition of anonymity.

The single-stage Prithvi-II is powered by liquid propulsion twin engines, and is equipped with an advanced inertial navigation system. The missile is capable of carrying 500 to 1,000 kilograms of warheads.

Last month, India tested its longest-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile with the capacity to strike China and Europe and mounted on a truck, which gives it greater mobility.

The three-stage and solid propellant Agni-V (Fire-V) missile was launched at Wheeler Island in the Bay of Bengal, off India’s eastern coast, on January 31. The 17-meter-long intercontinental ballistic missile has a range of more than 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles).

India has routinely carried out missile tests since it first demonstrated its nuclear weapons capability in 1998. India has also been engaged in an arms race with its neighbor Pakistan since the partition of the two countries in 1947.

Both neighbors have refused to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and other international regulatory pacts that restrict developing or testing nuclear weapons.

India considers the NPT as discriminatory, while Pakistan has indicated that it will not join the international treaty until its neighbor does.

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