On February 15, the India’s Economic Times reported that the country’s military had fired a Prithvi-II missile from a mobile launcher. According to the Economic Times, the missile was “randomly chosen from the production stock,” meaning that it wasn’t specifically modified for testing purposes. This isn’t the first test of the Prithvi-II, which has a range of over 200 miles according to Economic Times, and over 150 miles, according to the Arms Control Association.

But although the missile entered service in the Indian military in 2003 and was first test-launched in 1996, it’s experienced test failures as recently as 2011, while the missile used in this week’s test did not hit its intended target even though it reached its intended distance and altitude.

The fact the Indian military has had even mixed success in firing an apparently randomly selected Prithvi-II from a mobile launcher suggests that the country really has developed a semi-reliable nuclear delivery system that it can indigenously produce.

The Prithvi II gives India the ability to make its own mobile nuclear-capable ballistic missiles with a far-enough range to hit nearly every major city in Pakistan from inside Indian territory.

An indigenous missile capability is crucial for India, which is a confirmed nuclear weapons state but not a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

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