Pakistan test-fires nuclear-capable cruise missile

Thursday, February 10, 2011

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Thursday successfully tested a nuclear-capable cruise missile with a range of up to 600 km, a military official said.

The Hatf-VII missile, also called Babur after the 16th-century Muslim ruler who founded the Mughal Empire, was fired from an undisclosed location, said Major General Athar Abbas, a military spokesman.

“Babur, which can carry strategic and conventional warheads, has stealth capabilities, is a low-flying, terrain-hugging missile with high manoeuvrability, pinpoint accuracy and radar avoidance features,” Abbas said.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Khalid Shamim Wynne, said after watching the test that it would help in consolidating Pakistan’s strategic deterrence capability.

Pakistan has been developing an arsenal of missiles and tested the medium-range, nuclear-capable ballistic missile Hatf V, which has a range of 1,300 km, in December.

Pakistan’s missiles are mainly deployed toward India, which also has missile systems capable of striking major Pakistani cities.

India tested its two nuclear-capable, short-range Prithvi-II ballistic missiles with a range of 350 km in December from an eastern military base.

It also tested its nuclear-capable Agni-I short-range ballistic missile in November. The Agni-I, named after the Hindu god of fire, can carry payloads of 1 tonne up to 700 km.

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