Pakistan tests medium-range nuclear-capable missile

Islamabad, Apr 10 (EFE).- The Pakistani armed forces reported Wednesday that they successfully tested an improved version of the Hatf IV ballistic missile, which has a range of 900 kilometers (558 miles) and can carry nuclear warheads.

According to an official statement, the missile impacted in the waters of the Arabian Sea, south of Pakistan.

With this new version, which improved "its range and technical parameters," the Hatf IV "consolidates and strengthens Pakistan's deterrent capability," the text went on to say.

Pakistan and India, bitter rivals who have fought three wars since their independence in 1947, routinely test their nuclear-capable missiles and normally do so with just a few days separating the tests by each country.

In this case, Wednesday's test was made after India last Sunday tested its Agni II ballistic missile, which has a range of more than 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles) and can carry a nuclear warhead.

Pakistan possesses different short- and medium-range missiles, as well as Babur cruise missiles and the Baktar-Shikan anti-tank rocket, most of which have been developed with Chinese help.

One of the latest additions to the Pakistani arsenal, in 2011, is the Nasr, a missile with a range of just 60 kilometers (37 miles) but capable of delivering a small nuclear warhead.

Islamabad has developed a tactical nuclear weapon as a counterweight to India's noteworthy military growth. India has a sizable advantage over Pakistan in conventional armaments, a gap that Pakistan cannot close with conventional forces of its own.