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Saturday, March 25, 2023

After Shaheen III and Ghaznavi, Pakistan successfully test fires Babur cruise missile

It's noteworthy that this is the third missile test carried out over the past three weeks by the armed forces of Pakistan.

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On Thursday, Pakistan Army conducted a successful training launch of the Babur cruise missile at an undisclosed location. The missile, which has a range of up to 450 km, was developed indigenously by the National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM).

A press release by ISPR said, Pakistan Army successfully test-fired a short range surface-to-surface ballistic missile capable of hitting land and sea targets with “high precision” up to 450 kilometers away.

The test was witnessed by senior civil and military officials including Chairman NESCOM Dr. Raza Samar and Commander of Army Strategic Forces Command Lt Gen Muhammad Ali. On the occasion, senior officers of the Strategic Plans Division (SPD) and engineers of strategic organizations were also present.

Chairman NESCOM Dr Raza Samar lauded the “Standard of training and operational preparedness” of the armed forces which “was reflected by the proficient handling of the weapon system in the field”. He also hailed the contributions of scientists and engineers towards the “enhancement of Pakistan’s strategic capability”.

“The President, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and services chiefs have also congratulated the participating troops on the conduct of successful training launch,” read a statement released by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR).

Read more: Pakistan conducts Fateh-1 missile test

It’s noteworthy that this is the third missile test carried out over the past three weeks by the armed forces of Pakistan. Recently, in January, the army conducted a successful test of the surface-to-surface long range ballistic missile Shaheen-III and also test-fired an indigenously developed extended-range guided Multi-Launch Rocket System (MLRS).

Earlier this month, the army successfully conducted the ‘training launch’ of nuclear-capable ballistic mis­sile Ghaznavi as part of its annual field training exercise.

Shaheen III long range missile

On 20 January, Pakistan conducted successful flight test of Shaheen-III medium-range surface to surface ballistic missile on Wednesday.

According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the military’s media wing, the test flight was aimed at re-validating various design and technical parameters of the weapon system and range of the ballistic missile which is 2,750 kilometers.

The successful flight test, with its impact point in the Arabian Sea, was witnessed by Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Nadeem Raza, Director General Strategic Plans Division, Commander Army Strategic Forces Command, Chairman NESCOM and the scientists and engineers.

The Strategic Plans Division is responsible for the protection of Pakistan’s nuclear assets and agencies namely; KRL, NESCOM, PAEC and SUPARCO.

President Dr Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan, CJCSC and Service Chiefs have congratulated the scientists and engineers on successful conduct of today’s missile test.

NESCOM, the premier defence and research organisation pioneering in missile manufacturing, begun producing Shaheen-III missile in early 2000’s and was first tested on 9th March, 2015. Although the missile was originally conceived to be for the space program, later was built for military purposes.

With a long range of 2750 km, the Shaheen-III medium-range ballistic missile has the ability to strike deep into the Indian territory – even on the islands which were previously out of Pakistan’s reach and so reserved for second strike capability in case of a nuclear attack.

Read more: Armenia fires ballistic missiles on Azerbaijani civilians

The missile program, just like any defence production program was kept secret giving rise to many speculations – with some even reporting the country had developed an intercontinental ballistic missile.

It’s noteworthy that previously KRL, another defence production organisation founded by Dr AQ Khan had developed another medium-range ballistic missile called Ghauri-III. However, for the want of advancement of technology and feasibility of the project – NDC, a subdivision of NESCOM was tasked with producing Shaheen III missile system.