India test-fires supersonic cruise missile
India successfully tested a supersonic cruise missile on Tuesday in a remote desert close to the Pakistan border, officials said.
Indian officials say the launch of the Brahmos was only part of ongoing reliability tests, but some analysts say the timing was sensitive and could alarm Pakistan.
"The test was successful," a defence ministry spokesman said, without giving details.
The Brahmos, which can travel at up to 2.8 times the speed of sound and has a range of 290 km (180 miles), was tested at Pokhran, a desert town along India-Pakistan border and also the site of India's 1998 nuclear tests.
The missile can be fitted with both conventional and nuclear warheads.
"A missile test has a certain interpretative potential by the other side," said C. Uday Bhaskar, a New Delhi-based strategic analyst. "There is symbolism."
The Brahmos, named after India's Brahmaputra river and Russia's Moscow river, was developed by a joint venture between India's Defence Research and Development Organisation and Russia's NPO Mashinostroyenia.
India, which has the world's fourth-largest military, plans to fit the missile in several ships, officials said.
Reuters Last Mod: 20 Ocak 2009, 15:02