Wed, Nov 29, 2006
Nuclear Rivals Test Missiles, Defense Systems
Pakistan said Wednesday it has successfully test-fired a
new variant of its nuclear-capable Hatf 4 (Shaheen-1) missile, two
days after archrival India carried out its first successful test of
a ballistic missile interception system.
Defense officials in Pakistan wouldn't give details where the
missile firing occurred, but did state it hit its target. (A
similar Shaheen-2 missile is shown above.)
"It was a successful test-launch," a Pakistani official told
Reuters. "The missile has already been tested before. It is nuclear
Wednesday's firing was the second missile test carried out by
Pakistan in the past two weeks. On November 16, the nation
test-fired an intermediate-range Hatf-5 (dubbed "Ghauri") ballistic
missile. That missile has a range of about 800 miles -- 300 miles
more than the Hatf 4.
On Monday, India completed a successful test of a working
ballistic missile shield. Using a medium-range Prithvi II missile
launched from India's Wheeler Island test center, the system
knocked out another Prithvi II -- simulating the "adversary's
missile" -- launched from the Chandipore missile range.
If future interception tests prove equally successful, India
would join the United States as the only two nations that have
demonstrated viable missile shields. As Aero-News reported, the US
military conducted a successful interception of a test drone by an
interceptor missile on September 1.
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