The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) announcement of the successful test of Shaheen III, is a good testament of our preparedness in the face of regional security threats. In the backdrop of the recent Brahmos missile fiasco by New Delhi, reaffirming ballistic capabilities was absolutely vital.

Shaheen III has been tested before, but the one conducted on this occasion was reportedly a revalidation of design and technical specifications. As a responsible nuclear power, the armed forces of Pakistan place great emphasis and value on ensuring that all missiles—both with and without payloads—are fine tuned to perfection. Contrast this to the recent slip up of the Indian military apparatus in the form of the Brahmos missile that made its way over to Pakistan, and the complete ignorance expressed by the civil and military leadership of the country. The difference in maturity and responsibility as nuclear powers is stark.

Shaheen III’s importance in our strike capability cannot be overstated. It is a surface-to-surface missile capable of payloads at extremely long ranges; reportedly all the way to India’s farthest territory 2750 kilometres away. Another important aspect is the Post-Separation Altitude Correction (PSAC) system, which helps in dynamically adjusting and changing trajectories after a payload has been launched. This is an important aspect of modern missile systems, especially for long-range targets.

With more research and development in payload systems, each new innovation or technical improvement helps in securing Pakistan against irresponsible brokers of conflict in the region and beyond. The potential here however, goes beyond mere security. It opens up avenues for both export and further innovation and development.

History has shown that investment and research into military technology has also yielded benefits for the average citizen or in the overall improvement of quality of life. To do this we must reach the levels of cutting-edge research that the most developed states are at. Naturally this will require both time and investment, but importantly, a partnership with the country’s best minds in civilian and military institutions to work together towards exploring new technology and innovation.