The Pakistan Army has announced that it has test-fired the Ghaznavi surface-to-surface ballistic missile from an undisclosed location.
In a statement on his official Twitter account, Pakistan Military’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) director-general major general Asif Ghafoor confirmed the night training launch and shared a video.
ISPR stated that the launch marked the culmination of the Pakistan Army Strategic Forces Command’s (ASFC) field training exercise.
Indian media sources reported that Pakistan ordered the closure of three aviation routes of Karachi airspace until 31 August before carrying out the test. It is believed that the launch could have been conducted from Sonmiani flight test range in Balochistan.
The missile ballistic was tested on 29 August. It is believed to have the ability to deliver multiple types of warheads up to a distance of 290km.
According to The Week, Ghaznavi could be a derivative of China’s M-11 missile.
The short-range Ghaznavi missile is designed and developed by Pakistan’s National Development Complex.
Code-named Hatf III, Ghaznavi is a road-mobile missile capable of long-range strikes targeting military bases, airfields and production facilities.
Hatf III entered operational service with the army in 2012. The launch of the nuclear-capable missile comes at a time of escalating tensions between Pakistan and its neighbouring country India, after the latter revoked special status for the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
In May, Pakistan conducted a training launch of Shaheen II surface-to-surface medium-range guided ballistic missile that can hit targets at a range of 1,500km.
ASFC launched the Nasr short-range, surface-to-surface missile in January. Nasr can carry nuclear and conventional warheads and has a range of 60km.