Pakistan test-fires Babur missile

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Islamabad, Dec 11: Pakistan today successfully test-fired the indigenously developed nuclear-capable cruise missile Hatf-VII (Babur), which has a range of 700 km.

''The missile test is part of a continuous process of validating the design parameters set for this weapon system,'' a military statement said.

The statement claimed the missile has near stealth capabilities with low flying trajectory, terrain hugging ability, high manoeuverability and pin point accuracy.

The test was witnessed by the Chairman Joint Chief's of Staff Committee General Tariq Majid, senior military officers, scientists and engineers of the strategic organisations.

The test will consolidate Pakistan's strategic capability and strengthen national security, the statement added.

In August, Pakistan successfully test-fired its new Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM), 'Ra'ad' or 'Thunder', which had a range of 350 km. ''The Ra'ad can carry all types of warheads and has accuracy comparable to Babur cruise missile,'' the statement added.

Pakistan had first tested Babur missile in August 2005 for a range of 500 km but later its range was enhanced.

This was the third test of Babur missile this year. The last such test was conducted in July.

Pakistan formally kicked off its medium-range missile programme in April 1998, with the first successful test flight of Ghauri missile followed by similar tests the next yea, involving the nuclear-capable missiles Ghauri, Shaheen, Ghaznavi and Abdali systems.

HATF-3 (Ghaznavi), HATF-5 (Ghauri), HATF-4 (Shaheen-1) have already been handed over to Pakistan Army's Strategic Force Command.

Pakistan's inventory of missiles also include long range surface-to-surface ballistic missile Hatf VI (Shaheen II), which has a range of 2,000 km.

UNI

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