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« on: July 09, 2006, 05:03:34 AM »

India test fires new nuclear-capable missile
Launch not viewed as saber-rattling with archrival Pakistan

Updated: 4:26 a.m. ET July 9, 2006

NEW DELHI - India test-fired its nuclear-capable Agni III missile Sunday for the first time, the Defense Ministry said.

The launch took place at India’s main missile testing center in the eastern state of Orissa, Defense Ministry spokesman Sitanshu Kar told the Associated Press.

The launch of India’s longest-range missile, able to fly 1,865 miles, has been viewed as a routine test — not saber-rattling with the country’s nuclear-armed archrival and neighbor, Pakistan.

New Delhi and Islamabad regularly test-fire missiles, but normally only give each other prior notice for long-range launches. It was not immediately clear whether India informed Pakistan ahead of Sunday’s test.

The missile was launched at 11:03 Indian time and “took off successfully,” Kar said. “Details of the flight performance are being analyzed by the mission team.”

The missile splashed down near the Nicobar islands in the Bay of Bengal.

Indian Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee was at the launch complex, on Wheeler Island off Orissa, to witness the test, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

The Agni III further boosts India’s homegrown missile arsenal, which includes the short-range Prithvi ballistic missile, the medium-range Akash, the anti-tank Nag and the supersonic Brahmos missile, developed jointly with Russia.

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13775401/

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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2006, 04:58:07 PM »

India agrees Russia warship order

The Russian-built frigate INS Talwar
India took delivery of its first Russian stealth frigate in 2003
India has agreed to buy three more stealth warships and 28 cruise missiles from Russia for more than $1bn.

The frigates will be delivered in five years time, Indian Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters after the cabinet had cleared the deal.

Delhi purchased three similar frigates from Russia in the 1990s.

India remains one of the world's biggest arms importers and has one of the largest navies, with at least 25 warships and 16 submarines.

Earlier deal

The warships on order weigh 4,000 tonnes each and cannot be tracked by radar.

Mr Mukherjee said contracts still had to be signed with Russian builders for the new frigates.

He said the decision to buy the frigates was a follow-up order to warships bought in the 1990s.

India's navy took delivery of its first Russian-built "stealth" warship in 2003.

The INS Talwar was the first of three Krivak class frigates commissioned from Russia in another deal worth $1bn.

Military officials have said in the future India hopes to build most naval ships at its own shipyards, although Delhi will still buy equipment from foreign countries, particularly Russia.

India agrees Russia warship order

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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2006, 05:44:31 PM »

India confirms test of long-range missile fails
Mon Jul 10, 2006 1:46am ET167

NEW DELHI, India (Reuters) - India's test-firing of its longest-range nuclear-capable missile, the Agni III, was unsuccessful after the projectile crashed into the sea despite a smooth take-off, a defense ministry official said on Monday.

The launch of the ballistic Agni, which means "fire" in Sanskrit, took place on Sunday morning from the well-guarded Wheeler island off India's eastern coast.

Soon after the launch of the missile, which has a range of more than 3,000 km (1,870 miles), another defense official had said that it had been a successful test-firing.

But on Monday, the defense ministry official in New Delhi confirmed Indian media reports which said the two-stage missile plunged into Bay of Bengal after going up for 12 km (8 miles) and then losing height.

The missile was in the air for about five minutes, at least 10 minutes less than expected.

"The take-off was successful but there were some problems later," Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee was quoted in The Times of India as saying.

"It will take some time to analyze the data about the flight performance," said Mukherjee, who witnessed the launch.

India, which has estimated 100-to-150 nuclear warheads and staged tests in 1974 and 1998, is developing a range of missiles including the Agni series as part of a defense strategy against neighbors China and Pakistan, also armed with atomic weapons.

India confirms test of long-range missile fails

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