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India test-fires anti-ballistic missile

India successfully test-fired a new anti-ballistic missile on Sunday in a step towards developing a missile defence system which only an elite club of countries has built.

NEW DELHI: India successfully test-fired a new anti-ballistic missile on Sunday in a step towards developing a missile defence system which only an elite club of countries has built.

India, which shares borders with arch-rival Pakistan and giant China, both of whom are nuclear-armed, is developing the system that aims to shield it against a ballistic missile attack.

The test was conducted off the east coast on Sunday morning, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) told the Press Trust of India news agency.

"The trial was conducted successfully and all the mission objectives were met," said DRDO spokesman Ravi Kumar Gupta.

The missile, which was tested at Wheeler Island off the coast of Orissa, is capable of intercepting targets outside the earth's atmosphere.

India has a double-layered ballistic missile defence programme which can destroy missiles at higher as well as lower altitudes.

Only a small number of countries including the United States and Russia have anti-ballistic missile systems.

India, the world's second-most populous country, has been stepping up efforts to position itself as a strong regional power in Asia.

The nuclear-armed country has fought three wars with Pakistan and one war with China.

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