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Pakistan conducts third missile test in 3 weeks
K J M Varma in Islamabad
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December 09, 2006 12:02 IST

Pakistan on Friday successfully test-fired its third nuclear capable ballistic Hatf series missile. This is Islamabad's third such test in as many weeks.

The short-range ballistic missile Hatf III (Ghazanvi), launched from an undisclosed location, has a range of 290 kilometers.

Several Indian cities fall within that range.

'A Strategic Missile Group of the Pakistan Army's Strategic Force Command today conducted a successful launch of the Short Range Ballistic Missile Hatf-III (Ghaznavi)," a Pakistani defence release in Islamabad said adding it hit its target.

The missile was handed over to the Army Strategic Force Command, a few years ago, the release said.

This was the third launch of a ballistic missile in as many weeks as part of the training exercises of the ASFC of different SMGs.

Two other SMGs had earlier conducted successful launches of the Ghauri and Shaheen-1 ballistic missiles last month.

On November 16, it test-fired the 1300 km intermediate range nuclear capable Ballistic Missile Hatf-5 named Ghauri followed by 700 km range Hatf 4 (Shaheen-I) on November 29.

All the missiles have been handed over ASFC and are currently being test-fired as a part of exercises.

The tests came even as India announced successful test of collusion of two Prithvi missiles, which was the first of its kind, carried out as part of New Delhi's efforts to develop a missile defence shield.

'Today's launch came at the culmination phase of the training exercise, which validated the operational readiness of the Strategic Missile Group equipped with Ghaznavi Missiles," the release said.

The Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed and a large number of senior military officers, scientists and engineers of the strategic organisations, witnessed the launch.

"A synergy must be created between all Strategic Force of Pakistan's Armed Forces through coordination of operational, deployment and employment concepts under the aegis of the National Command Authority and Strategic Plans Division so as to strengthen the deterrence value of the nation's nuclear capability," Ahmed said.

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