Nuclear-Capable Missile Agni - II.

NEW DELHI, May 31 - India has approved the development of long-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile, capable of delivering a nuclear warhead into Pakistan and China,the Press Trust of India (PTI) said Thursday.

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The news agency quoted defence minister Jaswant Singh as saying the Agni-II missile system was planned for induction during the year ending March 2002. Jaswant Singh also told the committee India was now on the verge of developing a beyond visual range air-to-air missile called "Astra" for arming the indigenously-built light combat aircraft.

"Agni II is an operational missile system designed and developed using various technologies," Singh told a parliamentary committee. The Agni-II, which was successfully test fired on April 11, 1999 and January 17, 2001, has a range of around 2,500 kilometers and is a two-stage, all solid motor missile capable of carrying a one ton nuclear warhead and being fired from a mobile launcher.

Once developed, India will join the ranks of powerful countries such as the US and Russia, which are capable of producing the air-to-air missile.

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