India on Nov. 7 tested a short-range ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead off its eastern coast, defense sources said.
The Indian-made Dhanush (Bow), with a strike range of 250 kilometers (156 miles) was test-fired from naval ship INS Subhadra at around 12:20 p.m. in the Bay of Bengal off the state of Orissa, the sources said.
The Indian defense sources said the Dhanus is a naval variant of India’s surface-to-surface Prithvi (earth) II missile.
The test was the third by India in recent weeks. On Oct. 27, it fired off a naval version of its Prithvi III while on November 3 it conducted a successful test of supersonic cruise missile BrahMos.
India’s nuclear rival, Pakistan, test-fired its own nuclear-capable missile Hatf V (Ghauri), with a range of 1,500 kilometers (932 miles), on Oct. 12.
Both countries have continued to test missiles routinely despite an ongoing peace process.
The Nov. 7 test was the third trial of Dhanush. The missiles debut trial on April 11, 2000 was not all that successful but its second test-fire, on Sept. 21, 2001, went off smoothly.
The missile has a payload of 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds), is 8.56 meters (28 feet) long and one meter (3.2 feet) wide and has a launch weight of 4,600 kilograms (10,000 pounds), the sources said. It can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads and uses a single-stage liquid propellant engine.
Dhanush is part of India’s Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP) which was launched in 1983 to develop and produce a wide range of missiles for surface-to-surface and surface-to-air roles.