New Delhi: Pakistan announced Monday of successful test firing of submarine-launched nuclear-capable cruise missile with a range of 450 kilometer. This is the first time that Pakistan has test-fired something that gives it a capability of second strike. While, India, the arch-rival of Pakistan, is much ahead in the field, Pakistan seems to have made a major stride in building a second strike capability.
While making the announcement of the breakthrough General Mahmood Hayat, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee said, “Pakistan eyes this hallmark development as a step towards reinforcing policy of credible minimum deterrence…It is manifestation of the strategy of measured response to nuclear strategies and postures being adopted in Pakistan’s neighbourhood.”
While Pakistan had already tested its surface to air cruise missile a few weeks ago, the development is important for the country. The Pakistan Army in a statement said, “Babur-III Submarine-launched Cruise Missile in land-attack mode, is capable of delivering various types of payloads and will provide Pakistan with a credible second strike capability, augmenting deterrence.”
Pakistani experts say Babur-III is a sea-based variant of Ground launched Cruise Missile (GlCM) Babur-II, which was successfully tested in December 2016. The latest test, in the Indian Ocean, came days after India tested its indigenously developed intercontinental surface-to-surface nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni V.
The statement from Pakistan army says that the missile incorporates state of the art technologies including underwater controlled propulsion and advanced guidance and navigation features, duly augmented by Global Navigation, Terrain and Scene Matching Systems. The missile features terrain hugging and sea skimming flight capabilities to evade hostile radars and air defences, in addition to certain stealth technologies, in an emerging regional ballistic missile defence environment.