Strategic Weapons: May 9, 2003

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For the second time, India successfully test fired another of its Prithvi missiles on April 29th. The missile is used, in slightly different versions, by the army and air force. The army version has a range of 150 kilometers (and a one ton warhead), while the air force versions can go for 250 kilometers (with a half ton warhead). The army version of the missile can hit it's target within five minutes of launch. The 28 foot long, four ton missile uses liquid fuel, meaning it takes up to an hour to ready for launch. Over a hundred missiles have been delivered so far, with all the recent production being the 250 kilometer version. At least three missile units (called groups) have been formed, each with 12 mobile launchers and at least two dozen missiles. The Prithvi missile carries cluster bomb and nuclear warheads. Accuracy is thought to be quite good, using software correction and GPS to achieve under fifty meter accuracy. The missile, with non-nuclear warheads, would be used against high value targets like headquarters or fuel and ammo depots.

 


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