India-Pakistan: April 26, 2000

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The Indian Navy has successfully test-fired its Dhanush (Bow) missile from a ship in the Bay of Bengal to a target on land. The Dhanush, which has a range of 150-300 miles, is a version of the Prithvi that is used by the Indian Army and Air Force. (The Army Prithvi has a range of 100+ miles; the Air Force version something under 200 miles.) This gives India a new capability to strike land targets with nuclear or conventional missiles. Prithvi/Dhanush has inertial navigation and can reportedly land within 50 meters of its target. Each missile costs under $1 million. The missiles are 10m long and carry a 300kg warhead. Pakistan and China are reportedly concerned over the development. China is particularly concerned by any Indian naval move in the Bay of Bengal, which threatens China's port facilities and intelligence listening stations on the coast of Myanmar (Burma).--Stephen V Cole

 

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