Pakistan has performed a successful training launch of a Shaheen II surface-to-surface medium-range guided ballistic missile that has the ability to hit targets up to a range of 1,500km.

Designed and developed by the NESCOM and the National Defence Complex (NDC) of Pakistan, the missile can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads.

Shaheen II is intended to deliver a significant deterrence capability to the Pakistan Army.

The launch had its impact point in the Arabian Sea and was conducted in the presence of Strategic Plans Division director general, Army Strategic Forces Command commander and senior officers from the Command.

In a statement, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said: “The training launch was aimed at ensuring operational readiness of Army Strategic Forces Command.

“Shaheen-II is a highly capable missile, which meets Pakistan’s strategic needs towards the maintenance of desired deterrence stability in the region.”

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According to a report in The Diplomat, Shaheen-II was first fired in 2004 and declared operational in 2014.

The missile is believed to be based on the M-11, a road-mobile short-range ballistic missile developed by China.

Apart from Shaheen-II, Pakistan has two more medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBM), namely Shaheen-I and the Ghauri. They are currently in service with the country’s armed forces.

“The training launch was aimed at ensuring operational readiness of Army Strategic Forces Command.”

Pakistan is reportedly building two additional MRBMs.

The training launch of Shaheen-II comes after Pakistan Army test-fired the short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile ‘Nasr’ twice in two weeks.

Nasr is a high-precision, shoot-and-scoot weapon system with a strike range of around 70km. The missile is designed to support in-flight manoeuvrability.