Pakistan to test ballistic missile “Nasr” by the end of this month

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Geo News, one of the most popular News channels in Pakistan reported today that the new Battlefield Range Ballistic Missile (BRBM) Nasr, developed by the National Development Complex (NDC) will undergo tests by the end of this month. This is the third missile test to be conducted by the Pakistani Armed Forces in a few months time. Last March, it had tested the nuclear capable Short-Range Ballistic Missile (SRBM) Abdali-I. The Hatf-III (Ghaznavi) SRBM was also tested by the Pakistanis early this month.

The Nasr, which uses the solid fuel propellant system, is having an effective operational range of up to 110 miles. The missile, which is also known as Hatf-IX, was first tested on 19 April 2011. The missile can be fired from a Transporter Erector Launcher (TEL) and can be armed either with a nuclear warhead or a conventional high-explosive warhead. The short operational range of the missile means that it is more likely to be used as a defence option, rather than as an offensive one. The missile, which the Pakistani experts claim is one of the most accurate SRBMs in the world, is capable of inflicting heavy damage upon attacking armoured brigades and infantry battalions.

The Nasr is just one of the six SRBMs which the Pakistan Armed Forces are operating. The Hatf-I was the first ballistic missile the Pakistani armed forces ever developed. Its successors, the Hatf-II and Hatf-III SRBMs were tested just a few months ago. The Hatf-IV (Shaheen-I) is being upgraded currently, with the addition of Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) capability. Apart from these missiles, the Pakistani troops are also in the possession of a number of Dongfeng 11 (CSS-7) SRBMs, which were purchased from China.

The Nasr is the latest missile developed under the Pakistani missile research and development program, which was initiated nearly three decades ago. The program, which initially focussed on the SRBMs, achieved its first major breakthrough in 1997, with the development of the Medium Range Ballistic Missile (MRBM). In 2005, Pakistan developed its first ground-launched cruise missile, the Hatf VII (Babur). The Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM), Ra’ad was developed two years later.

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