ISLAMABAD, April 25: Pakistan on Wednesday test-fired a new version of its nuclear-capable intermediate range ballistic missile, saying the Shaheen 1-A (Hatf IV) would boost its deterrence abilities.

“Pakistan today successfully conducted the launch of the intermediate range ballistic missile Hatf IV Shaheen-1A weapon system. The missile is an improved version of Shaheen-1 with improvements in range and technical parameters. It is capable of carrying nuclear and conventional warheads,” said an ISPR statement issued after the test.

The missile is said to have a maximum range of over 1,000 kilometres, though defence officials declined to share its technical details. In terms of range, defence analysts see the new missile equivalent to Ghauri missile, which has a range of 1,500 kilometres.

The difference between Ghauri and Shaheen 1-A is that while the former is liquid fuelled, the latter uses solid fuel.

Because of being liquid fuelled, the Ghauris do not possess the rapid response capability as is the case with solid-fuelled missiles. Moreover, the longer time required to fuel the Ghauris make them vulnerable.

It is said Shaheen 1-A possesses “post-separation attitude correction system”, which provides accuracy and manoeuverability to evade missile defences.

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