India, Pakistan test fires nuclear-capable missile

India and Pakistan have test fired nuclear-capable missiles, the countries' military officials said on Friday.

Pakistan test fired a nuclear-capable, short-range, surface-to-surface missile on Friday, the military said.

The Hatf-2 ballistic missile can travel up to 180 km (110 miles).

"Hatf-2 can carry nuclear as well as conventional warheads with high accuracy," the military said in a statement, adding the test had been successful.

Pakistan carried out nuclear tests in May 1998 just days after similar tests by its old rival India.

The South Asian nations have fought three wars since independence in 1947.

They carry out missile tests regularly and Friday's exercise was not expected to lead to any increase in tension between them.

India tested two short-range nuclear-capable missiles along its eastern coast on Friday, an official said, as part of the nation's efforts to build up its nuclear deterrent.

One missile named Dhanush, which means "archer's bow" in Sanskrit, was fired Friday morning from a naval ship in the Bay of Bengal off eastern Orissa state.

The second missile, the Prithvi II, or Earth, blasted off soon afterwards from a testing range at Chandipur-on-Sea, 200 kilometres (160 miles) northeast of Bhubaneswar, Orissa's state capital.

"The test of both missiles was successful and met all mission objectives," test range director S.P. Dash told AFP.

Both missiles, which can carry nuclear and conventional warheads, were developed domestically.

The 11-metre (36-foot) Dhanush with a range of 350 kilometres was a variant of the surface-to-surface Prithvi missile developed for the Indian navy.

The 8.5-metre (28-foot) Prithvi-II missile has a range of 150-350 kilometres and can carry a one-tonne payload.

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 tests were part of training exercises for the Indian armed forces, defence officials said.


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