RAWALPINDI: Displaying its prowess in the missile technology, Pakistan successfully test-fired a nuclear-capable intermediate-range surface-to-surface ballistic Hatf IV (Shaheen-1A) missile on Wednesday.
Fired from an undisclosed location, Pakistan carried out this successful test-fire almost a week following the Indian announcement of test-launch of 5,000-km range nuclear-capable Agni with Washington calling for "restraint" among nuclear powers.
"The missile is an improved version of Shaheen-1 with improvements in range and technical parameters, and having capability of carrying nuclear and conventional warheads," said an announcement of the ISPR following the successful test-fire by Pakistan.
President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani congratulated the scientists working on the programme over the success of the missile test. Though the range and payload of this missile are not disclosed, but many say that Shaheen-1 is estimated to have a payload capacity of 1,000 kilograms and range of 750 kilometres. However, it can hit a target in much longer range.
Pakistan does have short, medium and long range missiles, and now it has launched an advance training programme for the special force which is responsible for the protection of these arsenals.
It is said that the launch, whose impact point was at sea, was witnessed by Director General Strategic Plans Division (SPD), Lieutenant General (R) Khalid Ahmed Kidwai (now on his 8th extension), Chairman NESCOM, Muhammad Irfan Burney, Commander Army Strategic Force Command Lieutenant General, Tariq Nadeem Gilani, and other senior military officers, scientists and engineers.
DG SPD Kidwai congratulated all scientists and engineers on the successful launch, and the accuracy of the missile in reaching the target. He said that the improved version of Shaheen-1A would further consolidate and strengthen Pakistan's deterrence abilities. He appreciated the efforts of all personnel for their dedication and professionalism.
Some time back, Pakistan successfully test-fired its Babur Cruise missile, which has a range of 700 kilometres. The ISPR said Babur was capable of carrying conventional and atomic warheads.
A special feature of Wednesdayís launch was the validation of a new multi-tube Missile Launch Vehicle (MLV) during the test. The three-tube MLV enhances manifold the targeting and deployment options in the conventional and nuclear modes. With its shoot-and-scoot capability, the MLV provides a major force multiplier effect for target employment and survivability.
Pakistan's most recent missile test came last month with the launch of the short-range nuclear-capable Abdali, while in April 2008 it tested the Shaheen II, or Hatf VI, missile having range of 2,000 kilometres.