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India successfully test-fires anti-ballistic missile

Published on Apr 27, 2014 5:28 PM

BHUBANESWAR, India (REUTERS) - India successfully test-fired an anti-ballistic missile on Sunday capable of intercepting targets outside the earth's atmosphere, a major step in development of a missile defence system that is available to only a handful of nations.

Sharing borders with nuclear armed China and Pakistan, India is developing a two-tier missile defence system that aims to provide a multi-layered shield against ballistic missile attack. "This (test) is part of the ballistic missile defence system which we are developing...," said Ravi Kumar Gupta, spokesman for the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). "The mission has been completed and the interception parameter has been achieved." The system is intended to destroy an incoming missile at a higher altitude in the exo-atmosphere, and if that fails in the endo-atmospheric within the earth's atmosphere.

Currently, only a small club of nations including the United States, Russia and Israel possess an anti-ballistic missile system.

India, China and Pakistan are all nuclear powers.

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