India Test Fires Second Nuclear Capable Ballistic Missile in a Week, The nuclear capable Prithvi-II missile was test fired on February 7. The Diplomat, By Franz-Stefan GadyFebruary 09, 2018
For the second time in just a week, India’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC) has test launched a short-range nuclear capable ballistic missile as part of its annual training cycle to test the combat readiness of the Indian Army’s missile forces.
The Prithvi-II tactical surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missile was test fired from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) on Dr. Abdul Kalam Island in the Bay of Bengal off the coast of Odisha on February 7, according to defense sources speaking to local media………
The February 7 missile test follows the test firing of an Agni-I short-range nuclear capable ballistic missile on February 6. According to defense sources, the launch was a “complete success.” The Agni-I has an operational range of 700-900 kilometers and can carry a 1,000-kilogram conventional or nuclear payload.
The Agni-I was last successfully test fired in November 2017.
Both the Agni-I and Prithvi-II are part of the missile arsenal India maintains to uphold its nuclear warfighting doctrine of credible minimum deterrence. As I explained: “India has a No First-Use (NFU) policy and keeps its nuclear warheads de-mated from the actual missiles. India is estimated to possess 120-130 nuclear warheads.”
This January, the SFC also tested India’s most advanced nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the Agni-V, as I reported:
The Agni-V, a three-stage solid fueled missile, has an approximate range of 5,500-5,800 kilometers [the exact range remains classified], and can carry a 1,500-kilogram (3,300-pound) nuclear warhead. India has reportedly also been working on multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRV) for the Agni-V in order to ensure a credible second-strike capability.
While shorter range nuclear capable missiles are designed to deter Pakistan, the Agni-V missile is being developed to field a credible nuclear deterrent against China. https://thediplomat.com/2018/02/india-test-fires-second-nuclear-capable-ballistic-missile-in-a-week/
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