Official- India developing long-range surface-to-surface nuclea

Sunday, January 12, 2003

NEW DELHI, India -- India is developing a powerful, nuclear-capable missile with a range of 1,800 miles, said a government adviser, expanding its military reach to more targets in rival Pakistan and some parts of China.

The new surface-to-surface Agni-III missile is likely to be test-fired later this year, according to a report Saturday by the independent Press Trust of India.

India is also preparing to supply its armed forces with the Agni-I missile, which has a range of up to 500 miles.

On Thursday, India carried out a second test launch of the Agni-I from the coast of eastern Orissa state, about 750 miles southeast of New Delhi.

India conducted its first nuclear test in 1974. Nuclear tests in 1998 caused international outrage and provoked economic sanctions by the United States and other Western nations.

India's tests were followed by nuclear tests by Pakistan.

Western nations gradually lifted sanctions against both India and Pakistan as the two countries became allies in the international campaign against al-Qaida.

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