ISLAMABAD: Pakistan today conducted its first successful test-fire of Submarine Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM), capable of carrying a nuclear warhead from an undisclosed location in the Indian Ocean, giving the country a "credible" second strike capability, the military said.
The missile, Babur-3, with a range of 450 kilometers was fired from an underwater, mobile platform and hit its target with precise accuracy, the Inter Services Public Relations, the media wing of the Pakistani military said in a statement.
Babur-3 is a sea-based variant of Ground Launched Cruise Missile (GLCM) Babur-2, which was successfully tested earlier in December, last year.
The Babur-3 SLCM incorporates state-of-the-art technologies including underwater controlled propulsion and advanced guidance and navigation features, duly augmented by Global Navigation, Terrain and Scene Matching Systems.
The missile features terrain hugging and sea skimming flight capabilities to evade hostile radars and air defenses, in addition to certain stealth technologies, in an emerging regional Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) environment, the release said.
Babur-3 SLCM in land-attack mode, is capable of delivering various types of payloads and will provide Pakistan with a "credible second strike capability, augmenting deterrence," the statement said.
While the pursuit and now the successful attainment of a second strike capability by Pakistan represents a major scientific milestone, it is manifestation of the strategy of measured response to nuclear strategies and postures being adopted in Pakistan's neighbourhood, it said, in an obvious reference to India.
The test was witnessed by the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Director General of the Strategic Plans Division (SPD) Lieutenant General Mazhar Jamil, Commander Naval Strategic Force Command (NSFC), senior officials, scientists and engineers from Scientific Strategic Organizations.
The CJCSC and three services chiefs congratulated all the officials involved, on achieving this highly significant milestone.
Gen. Hayat also highlighted that successful test-fire of SLCM also demonstrates confidence on our scientists and engineers in fostering the technological prowess, through indigenisation and self-reliance. Pakistan eyes this hallmark development as a step towards reinforcing policy of credible minimum deterrence, he added.