India test fires medium range Prithvi missile
NEW DELHI (AFP) Apr 29, 2003
India on Tuesday test-fired a medium range surface-to-surface Prithvi missile from a site in eastern Orissa state, a defence ministry spoksman said.

"It was successful. The army version of the missile was test-fired," the spokesman told AFP.

He said the missile had a range of 150 kilometres (90 miles).

The Prithvi missile has three separate versions for the army, navy, and the air force. Prithvi's navy and air force versions have an extended range of 250 kilometres.

The spokesman said that the missile was test-fired at 11.20 am (0550 GMT).

Officials said the test was part of ongoing efforts to fine tune the missile, which has already been inducted into the army.

The 8.5 metre (28 foot) Prithvi missile was last test fired on March 26, when arch-rival Pakistan responded by firing its Abdali missile.

Prithvi, which means Earth, can be tipped with incendiary and fragmentary munitions or can carry a sub-kiloton nuclear warhead for use on massed troops or armoured formations.

The version of the missile test-fired Tuesday has the latest on-board computer and navigation system and can use both solid and liquid propellant.

The missile variant is capable of reaching a target within 150 kilometres in 300 seconds, the sources said.