India Tests Nuclear-Capable Missile

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India on Sunday tested a nuclear-capable ship-launched missile off its eastern coast, an official said.

The Dhanush missile (search), capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads, was launched from an Indian navy ship in the Bay of Bengal (search), the official said on condition of anonymity.

Pakistan, which also routinely carries out missile tests, declined comment on the test but said it was against an arms race.

"Pakistan will not get into an arms race in the region," said Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan, the top army spokesman. "We will maintain a minimum credible deterrence."

A senior official at the Foreign Ministry, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Pakistan was informed ahead of the Indian missile test.

"Dhanush," which means "bow" in the Hindi language, was tested from the ship INS Subhadra some 20 miles away from India's missile testing site at Chandipur-on-Sea in the eastern state of Orissa. The site is 750 miles southeast of New Delhi.

With a strike range of 156 miles, the missile can carry a load of 1,100 pounds, the Indian official said.

The Dhanush is one of five types of missiles being developed by the state-owned Defense Research and Development Organization.

India's missile arsenal also includes the short-range ballistic Prithvi, the medium-range Agni, the anti-tank Nag and the supersonic Brahmos.

The Dhanush was a naval variant of the Prithvi missile, the official said.

Nuclear-armed neighbors India and Pakistan routinely test-fire missiles they are developing for military use. When either country tests larger missiles they normally inform the other before the launch.