RAWALPINDI: Pakistan on Tuesday successfully test-fired a newly-developed short-range surface-to-surface nuclear-capable missile, according to an official announcement by the Pakistan Army. The multi-tube ballistic missile, Hatf-IX (Nasr), is a 60-km range missile that has been developed to add deterrence value at shorter ranges to Pakistan’s Strategic Weapons Development Programme. The missile has been developed with shoot-and-scoot capability. The test was conducted from an unidentified location.
“The Nasr ballistic missile carries nuclear warheads of appropriate yield with high accuracy and shoot-and-scoot attributes. This quick response system addresses the need to deter evolving threats,” said the official announcement.
Director General Strategic Plans Division (SPD), Lieutenant General (retd) Khalid Ahmed Kidwai, Chairman Nescom, Irfan Burney, senior officers from the strategic forces, scientists and engineers of strategic organisations were present at the undisclosed site of the test.
Strategic planners term the test a ‘new and very significant development’ since the missile falls in the category of tactical nuclear weapons. “This is a low-yield battlefield deterrent, capable of deterring and inflicting punishment on mechanised forces like armed brigades and divisions,” said an expert in the field of missile technology. “This takes care of the Indian Army’s obsession with finding space for limited war under the nuclear umbrella.”
Addressing the gathering at the undisclosed location, DG SPD Kidwai said the test was a very important milestone in consolidating Pakistan’s strategic deterrence capability at all levels of the threat spectrum. He said in the hierarchy of military operations, the Nasr Weapon System now provided Pakistan with short-range missile capability in addition to the already available medium- and long-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles in its inventory.
The president and prime minister have congratulated the scientists and engineers for their outstanding success and warmly appreciated the successful test.