Islamabad: Pakistan on Tuesday conducted the
first test of a newly developed short-range surface-to-surface
missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, and the
military said the launch was aimed at boosting the "deterrence
value" of the country`s strategic weapons programme.
The Hatf-9 or Nasr missile, with a range of 60 km, can
carry "nuclear warheads of appropriate yield with high
accuracy" and has "shoot and scoot attributes", the military
said in a statement.
The "multi-tube ballistic missile" system was
developed "to add deterrence value to Pakistan`s strategic
weapons development programme at shorter ranges," the
"This quick response system addresses the need to
deter evolving threats," the statement said. The missile test,
conducted at an undisclosed location, was successful, it said.
Footage on television showed the missile being
launched from a system mounted on a truck. The vehicle was
equipped with tubes to carry and launch two missiles.
The test was apparently conducted at a range located
in mountainous terrain. The test was witnessed by Strategic
Plans Division Director General Khalid Ahmed Kidwai, who said
the launch was a "very important milestone in consolidating
Pakistan?s strategic deterrence capability at all levels of
the threat spectrum."
He said that in the hierarchy of military operations,
the Nasr weapon system "now provides Pakistan with short-range
missile capability in addition to the already available medium
and long-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles in its
President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf
Raza Gilani congratulated military scientists and engineers on
the missile test.
Pakistan routinely tests what it claims are
indigenously developed short and long-range missiles capable
of carrying nuclear warheads. The country`s strategic arsenal
includes short, medium and long-range missiles.