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Going Ballistic: Pakistan prepares nuclear-capable missile test

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 20, 2012

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Pakistan will yet again test a ballistic missile by the end of the month, heating up the burgeoning arms race on the Indian subcontinent.

This is the third missile test to be conducted by the Pakistani Armed Forces in recent times.

News of the nuclear-capable ballistic missile launch broke on the Pakistani-based Geo News Saturday, Pakistan Defense reports.

Nasr, the Arabic word for “victory’, is a Battlefield Range Ballistic Missile (BRBM) that uses the solid fuel propellant system. It has an effective operation range of up to 110 miles and is capable of being armed with both nuclear and conventional high-explosive warheads.

The Pakistani military says the next generation system was specially designed to quickly react to a variety of threats.

Earlier this month, the Pakistani military announced the launch of the Hatf III Ghaznavi Short-Range Ballistic missile at an annual field training exercise by the Army Strategic Force Command. The Hatf III has a range of 180 miles.

And on April 25th, Pakistan launched a Shaheen-1A intermediate-ranged missile in response to its sworn enemy India’s Agni-V intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test.

After a series of four or five more tests, the Agni-V will join India’s military arsenal before 2015. Currently, only the United States, Russia, China, France and the UK possess operational intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Fearing India’s increased military capability, the Pakistani Shaheen-1A covered upwards of 2,500 miles when fired over the Indian Ocean last month, making any target within India within striking distance.

Having fought three wars with India since Pakistan first declared independence in 1947, tit-for-tat missile tests have become a regular feature of the countries’ bilateral relations.

After India’s first thermonuclear warhead test 14 years ago, Pakistan responded with a series of nuclear bomb explosions the same month.


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