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India tests missile, eyes U.S. Patriot missile
Updated: 2005-02-22 10:01

India tested a short range surface-to-air missile on Monday and started talks with the United States on arms deals, including the Patriot anti-missile system, analysts and local media said.

New Delhi's plan to buy Patriots have drawn concern in Pakistan which fears it will be drawn into a new arms race with its giant nuclear rival.

A team of officials from the U.S. Defence Security Cooperation Agency made a technical presentation of the Patriot system to Indian defence and foreign ministry officials, the Indo-Asian News Service said.

It did not give any details and the defence ministry declined comment.

Military analysts said talks on the Patriot system were at a very early stage. "This is just the starting point, a deal is far off," said Jasjit Singh, an independent security expert.

Earlier on Monday, India successfully tested the short-range Akash missile which is intended to hit targets up to 25 km away.

"It is part of routine testing," a defence ministry official said after the test off the east coast.

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