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Pakistan Army tests Hatf-VII cruise missile

18 September 2012

Hatf-VII missile

The Pakistan Army has successfully tested its domestically-built nuclear capable cruise missile Hatf-VII (Babur) from an undisclosed location, marking the nation's first exercise of this kind in the past three months.

During test firing, the missile was launched from an advanced multi-tube missile launch vehicle (MLV) capable of improving its targeting and deployment capabilities.

According to a statement by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the successful test launch establishes and strengthens the country's deterrence capability and national security.

The exercise also validated the National Command Authority's strategic command and control support system (SCCSS), which provides persistent situational awareness in a digitised network-centric environment to decision makers at National Command Centre (NCC), ensuring robust command and control capability (C2) of all strategic assets.

"Babur can be launched from ground-based transporter erector launchers, warships and submarines."

The SCCSS system can remotely monitor missile flight paths in real time.

A derivative of the US RGM/UGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missile, the Babur is a land attack cruise weapon designed to intercept both land and sea targets with pinpoint accuracy.

Powered by a jet engine, the radar evading, low-flying, terrain-hugging missile has a range of 700km, and is capable of carrying strategic or conventional warheads at a speed of Mach 0.8.

Equipped with modern cruise missile technology of terrain contour matching (TERCOM) and digital scene matching and area co-relation (DSMAC), Babur can be launched from ground-based transporter erector launchers (TELs), warships and submarines.

Pakistan is currently developing advanced variants of Babur, which are expected to have an operational range of 1,000km and will be capable of launching from the navy's Agosta 90B Khalid-class submarines.


Image: The Pakistan Army's Hatf-VII cruise missile during its test launch. Photo: courtesy of ISPR.