Pakistan test fires nuclear-capable ballistic missile

  • 25 April 2012
  • From the section Asia
Media captionThe BBC's Aleem Maqbool: "It has increased the range Pakistan can fire a nuclear-capable missile"

Pakistan has test fired a nuclear-capable ballistic missile, military officials say, less than a week after India also test-launched a long-range missile.

The military said the test of the Shaheen 1-A, an intermediate-range missile capable of reaching targets in India, was successful.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since 1947.

They conduct regular missile tests and inform each other in advance.

Both countries carried out nuclear weapons tests in 1998.

Defence experts say that while the exact range of the Pakistani missile has not been revealed, it is capable of hitting targets up to 2,500 to 3,000km (1,550 to 1,850 miles) away - putting arch-rival India well within reach.

The Agni-V long-range intercontinental ballistic missile launched by India last week has a range of more than 5,000km (3,100 miles), potentially bringing targets in China within range.

Pakistan's last test was last month, when it launched the short-range nuclear-capable Abdali missile.

The missile tested on Wednesday landed in the sea, the military said. It is a version of the Shaheen-1 - with improvements in range and technical capabilities - and is able to carry nuclear and conventional warheads.

The military say that the missile - which successfully hit its target in the Indian Ocean - further consolidates and strengthens Pakistan's deterrence abilities.

Pakistan's missile arsenal includes short, medium and long range missiles, all named after Muslim conquerors.

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