Pakistan confirms that the test launch of its ballistic missile Nasr was successful

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Officials from the Pakistani Armed Forces claimed today that the test launch of the solid fuelled Battlefield Range Ballistic Missile (BRBM), Nasr (Hatf-IX) was conducted successfully. The Inter Service Public Relation informed media that officials from the armed forces and scientists were present during the missile launch. This is the second successful missile launch conducted by the Pakistani Armed Forces this month. They had tested their Short Range Ballistic Missile (SRBM), the Hatf-III (Ghaznavi) on May 10th.

The testing of Nasr is extremely significant, especially due to the fact that it is one of the few Pakistani missiles which can be fitted with either the nuclear, or the conventional high-power explosive warhead. The recently tested Hatf-III was also nuclear capable. Quite recently, Pakistan had confirmed that is operating a number of submarine launched variant of the Babur (Hatf-VII) missile. The Babur is also nuclear capable and according to the defence experts, the missile gives the “Second Strike” capability to the Pakistani Armed Forces.

Top Pakistani officials, including Lt Gen Syed Tariq Nadeem Gilani, who is the Commander of Army Strategic Forces Command (Comd ASFC), Lieutenant General (Retd) Khalid Ahmed Kidwai, the Director General of Strategic Plans Division (SPD), and the Chairman of the National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM), Irfan Burney witnessed the launch.

Lieutenant General Kidwai meanwhile rubbished reports that the missile test would lead to a renewed arms race between India and Pakistan. He said that the Nasr is a weapon of peace and is intended to be used for defensive purposes rather than for the operations having offensive nature. He further added that the development of the missile is a feather is the cap for the Pakistani defence scientists, and said that it is a very significant achievement in the military history of Pakistan. Yousuf Raza Gilani, the current Prime Minister of Pakistan and Asif Ali Zardari, the current President, were among those who congratulated the army and the defence scientists for the successful test.

The Nasr is one of the six SRBMs currently operated by the Pakistani Armed Forces. It was developed by the National Development Complex (NDC), and was inducted in to the army in 2011. The missile can be launched using the AR-1A / A-100E MLRS, mounted on a high mobility Transporter-Erector-Launcher (TEL).

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