The Pakistani Army conducted a training launch of its nuclear-capable Hatf III (Ghaznavi) short-range ballistic missile (SBRM) at the end of the army strategic force command’s (ASFC) annual field training exercise yesterday.
The indigenously developed Hatf III missile is capable of carrying nuclear and conventional warheads to a range of 290km.
Joint chiefs of staff committee chairman general Khalid Shameem Wynne said the Pakistani Armed Forces was fully capable of safeguarding the nation’s security against potential attacks.
"The nation has developed a strong nuclear deterrence capability and expected that the officers and men entrusted with the task of deterring aggression would continue to train hard and maintain professional excellence," Wynne said.
The exercise was carried out at an undisclosed location, with the aim to test the operational readiness of the ASFC strategic missile group.
The Hatf III is the second nuclear-capable missile being test-fired by the Pakistan army in less than two weeks, following India’s launch of Agni-V, a solid fuelled Inter-continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) in April.
Pakistan had also launched Hatf IV Shaheen-1A, an indigenously developed intermediate range ballistic missile on 25 April.
Powered by a single stage solid fuel rocket motor, the Hatf III is a short-range, road mobile ballistic missile designed for long-range strike against targets, such as military bases, airfields and production facilities.
The missile carries a single warhead, which weighs up to 700kg and can also be equipped with a terminal guidance to help attack moving military units.
Pakistan currently possesses 30 to 70 nuclear warheads, as well as short and medium-range ballistic missiles. The country is also developing a nuclear-capable, Ghauri- III intermediate-range missile, designed for long-range strikes against civilian and military targets.