Islamabad: Completing its nuclear triad, Pakistan on Monday successfully test-fired submarine-launched cruise missile Babur-3 and claimed that the missile has been developed indigenously.
Pakistan’s first submarine-launched cruise missile Babur-3 is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and giving the country a credible second strike capability, the military said in a statement.
The missile was fired from an underwater mobile platform and hit its target with precise accuracy, it said in a statement.
A military spokesman said the missile, with a range of 450 km (280 miles), could carry a nuclear warhead.
The range of the missile is 450 km, Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor said.
The development came less than a month after Pakistan conducted a successful test of an enhanced version of Babur cruise missile.
“Babur-3 is a sea-based variant of Ground Launched Cruise Missile (GLCM) Babur-2, which was successfully tested earlier in December, last year,” the statement said.
“Pakistan eyes this hallmark development as a step toward reinforcing the policy of credible minimum deterrence.”
Pakistan and neighbouring India — which have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947 — have routinely carried out missile tests since both demonstrated a nuclear weapons capability in 1998.
Both countries can already launch surface-to-surface ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear or conventional warheads.
Tension between the two countries has been high since a deadly attack on an Indian army base in the disputed region of Kashmir in September, which New Delhi blamed on Pakistan-based Islamist group Jaish-e-Mohammed.
The military said the Babur-3 SLCM, in a land-attack mode, was capable of delivering various types of payloads.
It would “provide Pakistan with a Credible Second Strike Capability, augmenting deterrence”.
Babur weapons system version II incorporates advanced aerodynamics and avionics that can strike targets both at land and sea with high accuracy at a range of 700 km.
It is a low-flying, terrain hugging missile, which carries certain stealth features and is capable of carrying various types of warheads.
Pak PM, Army chief congratulates the team
Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa congratulated the team behind the launch and the nation on the development, Maj. Gen. Ghafoor said.