Pakistan on Monday fired its first submarine-launched nuclear-capable cruise missile with a 450 km range in an apparent show of force vis-a-vis nuclear neighbour India.
“Pakistan eyes this hallmark development as a step towards reinforcing policy of credible minimum deterrence,” said General Mahmood Hayat, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.
Terming it a major scientific milestone, Gen Hayat said: “It is manifestation of the strategy of measured response to nuclear strategies and postures being adopted in Pakistan’s neighbourhood.”
The Army said in a statement: “Babur-III Submarine-Launched Cruise Missile in land-attack mode, is capable of delivering various types of payloads and will provide Pakistan with a credible second strike capability, augmenting deterrence.”
The latest test, in the Indian Ocean, came days after India tested its indigenously developed intercontinental surface-to-surface nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni V.
Babur-III is a sea-based variant of Ground Launched Cruise Missile (GLCM) Babur-II, which was successfully tested in December 2016.
The missile incorporates state of the art technologies including underwater controlled propulsion and advanced guidance and navigation features, duly augmented by Global Navigation, Terrain and Scene Matching Systems.
The missile features terrain hugging and sea skimming flight capabilities to evade hostile radars and air defences, in addition to certain stealth technologies, in an emerging regional ballistic missile defence environment.
The test was witnessed by the country’s top military leadership.
President Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the three services chiefs congratulated the team involved in the project.