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India Plans Defense Satellite

April 10, 1998

NEW DELHI, India (AP) _ India is developing a spy satellite, the air force chief said Friday, days after Pakistan said it had launched a ballistic missile.

``The defense ministry is working in close coordination with the Indian Space Research Organization to give the project a final shape,″ Air Chief Marshal S.K. Sareen told reporters in Bombay.

Sareen said the satellite would be used to gather intelligence for the army, air force, navy, and ``other agencies.″ He declined to give details.

``We are far behind in intelligence gathering compared to other developed countries,″ said Sareen’s predecessor, N.C. Suri. ``If it is a requirement for developed countries, it must be a requirement for India as well.″

Their comments followed Pakistan’s announcement Monday that it had tested a ``Ghauri″ ballistic missile, with a range of 900 miles. It showed television footage of the launch from Kahuta, a town less than 125 miles from the Indian border.

But Indian analysts said the launch was not detected by Indian radar and there was no advance warning by Pakistan to air and sea traffic.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since the two neighbors gained independence from Britain in 1947.

Update hourly