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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 20, November 1997

India Adamant on New Missile

India has been stressing its determination to proceed with the development of its Agni (Fire) long-range ballistic missile. The development of the missile, with a reported range of 2,500 kilometres and a reputed capability to carry a nuclear warhead, has been strongly criticised by many States, including the United States. However, Defence Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav stated in New Delhi on 6 November: "India cannot be cowed down and the programme is to proceed on a priority basis." Addressing a meeting of military leaders, Yadav added:

"India will have to keep her options open on the nuclear issue and continue with the Integrated Missile Development Programme... Our defence preparedness has to be viewed in the context of developments at the global, regional and sub-regional levels."

In late September (see last issue), it was reported that India had begun production of the medium-range (95 miles) Prithvi (Earth) missile.

Reports: India says missile programme to stay on course, Reuters, 21 October; India to continue with missile program, United Press International, 6 November; India eager for further development of Agni missile program, International Defense Review, 12 November.

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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