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India successfully test fires nuke-capable Dhanush, Prithvi-II missile

Bhubaneswar: India Friday successfully test fired its nuclear capable Dhanush missile from a warship off the Odisha coast hours after conducting a training launch of Prithvi-II missile from a military base in the state, a senior defence official said.

Dhanush was test fired from a naval ship off the coast of the state over the Bay of Bengal around 7.40 pm. The launch was part of an exercise by the armed forces and the missile reached the designated target with high precision, official said.

The missile launch and its flight performance were monitored from the Integrated Test range at Chandipur in state's Balasore district, about 230 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, the test range director M.V.K.V. Prasad told IANS.

Dhanush was test fired hours after armed forces successfully test-fired the nuclear-capable surface-to-surface Prithvi-II missile from the Integrated Test Range as a part of routine training exercise.

"It was a text book launch," Prasad said.

The indigenously-developed Prithvi-II ballistic missile has the capability to hit a target 350 km away.

Developed and built exclusively for the Indian Navy, Dhanush has a 250 to 250 km striking range and can carry a single warhead of up to 750 kg.

The missile, which is a part of India's Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme, is about 8.53 metres long and 0.9 metre wide and has a launch weight of about 4.4 tonnes. It uses liquid propellant.

President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday congratulated Indian scientists on the successful test firing of Prithvi-II missile.

"I extend my heartiest congratulations to all those associated with the successful test-firing of India's indigenously developed Prithvi-II surface-to-surface missile," the president said in a message to Avinash Chander, Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister and Secretary, Department of Defence Research and Development.

This significant scientific breakthrough has given a commendable boost to our efforts to step up indigenisation and improve self-reliance in our defence capabilities, he said.

Modi said in his message: "I congratulate the hard work of our scientists that has been instrumental in the successful test fire of Prithvi-II missile".

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