Pakistan test-fires nuclear-capable cruise missile

September 17th, 2012 - 7:29 pm ICT by BNO News  

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (BNO NEWS) — The Pakistani military on Monday said it has successfully test-fired a short-range cruise missile which includes stealth features and is capable of carrying nuclear warheads. It comes nearly three months after Pakistan test-fired two similar nuclear-capable missiles.

A military spokesperson said the Hatf-VII cruise missile, which is also known as Babur, has a range of approximately 700 kilometers (435 miles) and is capable of carrying both nuclear and conventional warheads. It includes stealth capabilities and uses modern technology such as Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM) and Digital Scene Matching and Area Co-relation (DSMAC).

“The missile was launched from a state of the art Multi Tube Missile Launch Vehicle (MLV), which significantly enhances the targeting and deployment options of Babur Weapon system,” the spokesperson said in a statement. It said the test was witnessed by a number of high-ranking officials.

The military said the automated Strategic Command and Control Support System (SCCSS) was also used during Monday’s test. It said the system enables command and control capability of strategic assets and has the added capability of real-time remote monitoring of the missile’s flight path.

“The test consolidates and strengthens Pakistan’s deterrence capability and national security,” the spokesperson said. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman General Khalid Shameem Wynne welcomed the successful test and congratulated those who worked on it.

Since independence from the United Kingdom in 1947, Pakistan and its neighbor India have fought four wars, including one undeclared war, as well as numerous border skirmishes and military stand-offs. The two countries were on the brink of nuclear conflict in 2002 over the disputed territory of Kashmir, but a ceasefire was agreed to in 2003 although violations still occur. Both nations frequently develop new missiles.

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