ISLAMABAD, May 8: Pakistan on Thursday conducted a successful ‘flight test’ of the indigenously developed nuclear capable air launched cruise missile, Hatf-VIII (Ra’ad).

The test is part of a continuing process of validating the design parameters of the weapon system.

According to an official statement, the Ra’ad missile with a range of 350km, has been developed exclusively for launch from aerial platforms, enabling Pakistan to achieve a greater strategic capability on land and at sea.

The complex cruise missile technology has been developed by only a few countries of the world. The missile has special stealth capabilities.

It is a Low Altitude, Terrain Following Missile with high manoeuvrability, and can deliver all types of warheads, with a high accuracy.

A cruise missile carries an explosive payload and uses a lifting wing and a propulsion system, usually a jet engine, to allow sustained flight.

It is essentially a flying bomb, generally designed to carry a large conventional or nuclear warhead many hundreds of miles with high accuracy. Modern cruise missiles can travel at supersonic or high subsonic speed.

These guided missiles are self-navigating and fly on a non-ballistic very low altitude trajectory in order to avoid radar detection.

The most common mission for cruise missiles is to attack relatively high value targets such as ships, command bunkers, bridges and dams. The modern guidance system permits precise attacks.

President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani in their messages congratulated scientists and engineers on the successful test of the missile.

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