ISLAMABAD - Pakistan flight-tested the sophisticated Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) Hatf VIII Ra'ad on Thursday, a couple of days after the reported completion of ballistic missile tests.The over 350 kilometre-range missile, according to military, ‘enables Pakistan to achieve strategic standoff capability on land and at sea’. Earlier on Tuesday, Pakistan had test-fired the Short Range Ballistic Missile (SRBM), Hatf IX Nasr purportedly to complete the test-exercise of SRBMs and Medium Range Ballistic Missiles (MRBMs). The exercise included three missile tests, two of which were held on May 10th and April 25th involving the respective test-launches of Ghaznavi-I and Shaheen I-A missiles.New series of MRBM missile tests is reportedly scheduled in the coming July.Officials at Strategic Plans Division (SPD) described the ALCM Hatf VIII Ra'ad as a ‘Tri-dimensional Optimum Cruiser’ due to its sophisticated technologically advanced pre-launch air-to-air, air-to-surface, and air-to-sea features and capability to reach optimal accuracy point in all the three launch modes. Like SRBMs and MRBMs, (with exception to Hatf IX Nasr), Ra'ad cruise missile can carry nuclear and conventional warheads simultaneously with a reported payload (carrying) capacity of nuclear weapons upto the weight range of 200 kilograms and those of conventional weapons up to 700 kg. (SRBM Nasr can only carry nuclear warheads but has fastest impact time). The officials said, Ra'ad is characterised with an inherent Air-Borne System (ABS) for Enhanced Target Identification and Accuracy (ETIA) on air-to-air mission. This feature, sources mentioned, is designed to augment the missiles operational efficacy under ‘less optimum and even zero optimum’ weather conditions. Reportedly, the missile can be air-launched from the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) F-16 jets while in the next two years, the air force would be able to launch Hatf VIII Ra'ad using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), it is further learnt. Ra’ad is not part of Pakistan’s MRBMs owing to its air-launch feature while the country’s all ballistic missiles are surface-to-surface, officials said. The missile was inducted in the PAF armour fleet last year after remaining in the pre-operational phase for a year. Military said, the indigenously developed ACLM Hatf-VIII Ra'ad (has) Cruise Technology (which) is ‘extremely complex and has been developed by only a few countries in the world.The state of the art Ra'ad cruise missile with stealth capabilities is a low altitude, terrain hugging missile with high manoeuverability, and can deliver nuclear and conventional warheads with pin point accuracy’.It further said:‘A major additional feature of today's (Thursday’s) test was the effective employment of the National Command Authority's fully automated Strategic Command and Control Support System (SCCSS). It has enabled robust Command and Control capability of all strategic assets with round the clock situational awareness in a digitised network centric environment to decision makers at National Command Centre (NCC)’.