The military described the Hatf-VII Babur missile as a “low-flying, terrain-hugging missile, which can strike targets both at land and sea with pin point accuracy” and has a range of 700 kilometres.
Equipped with modern cruise missile technology of Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM) and Digital Scene Matching and Area Co-relation (DSMAC), it can carry both nuclear and conventional warheads. The military said Monday’s launch was carried out from a “Multi Tube Missile Launch Vehicle (MLV)”, which it said improved the Babur system’s targeting and deployment capabilities.
The test was witnessed by Strategic Plans Division Director General Lieutenant General (r) Khalid Ahmed Kidwai, National Engineering and Scientific Commission (Nescom) Chairman Muhammad Irfan Burney and senior officers from the armed forces and strategic organisations.
In Monday’s test the National Command Authority’s fully automated Strategic Command and Control Support System (SCCSS) was once again employed. It enables 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).
The system has the added capability of real time remote monitoring of missile flight path. The test consolidates and strengthens Pakistan’s deterrence capability and national security.
The successful test has also been warmly appreciated by President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, who have congratulated the scientists and engineers on their outstanding success.
Pakistan’s last missile test, also of a Hatf-VII, came in June at the end of a spate of five launches in around six weeks that followed arch-rival India successfully firing its Agni V rocket, which can deliver a nuclear warhead anywhere in China.
Pakistan have fought three wars - two over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir - and have routinely carried out missile tests since both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability in 1998.
Defence analysts say India’s strategic priorities are focusing more on China, while Pakistan is still concerned about its eastern neighbour.
Pakistan test-fires nuclear capable cruise missile