ISLAMABAD: Pakistan today conducted a successful test launch of intermediate range Hatf IV (Shaheen I-A) ballistic missile which is capable of carrying nuclear and conventional warheads to a range of 900 kilometres, a statement from the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.
‘Shaheen I-A’ missile is an upgraded version of the ‘Shaheen I’ with a longer range and is estimated to have a payload capacity of 1,000 kilograms.
The missile’s impact point was in the Arabian Sea.
The launch was witnessed by Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah, Director General Strategic Plans Division Lieutenant General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Commander Army Strategic Forces Command Lieutenant General Obaid Ullah Khan, senior officers from the strategic forces and scientists and engineers of strategic organisations.
Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah congratulated the scientists and engineers for their dedication, professionalism and commitment towards achieving Pakistan's full spectrum credible minimum deterrence capability.
Shaheen I-A with its highly accurate and indigenously developed guidance system is amongst the most accurate missile systems.
The naval chief reiterated Pakistan’s desire for peaceful co-existence in the region. He appreciated the professional attributes of all concerned towards accomplishment of the sacred mission.
Admiral Zakaullah showed his confidence over the armed forces’ capability to safeguard the country against any aggression.
The successful test launch was also appreciated by President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who congratulated the participating troops and the scientists and engineers.
On November 13, Pakistan had conducted a successful training launch of intermediate range Shaheen II (Hatf-VI) ballistic missile.
The recent launches come days after India announced that it had test-fired a nuclear-capable cruise missile from Balasore in Odisha state. The missile, with the name of Nirbhay, has a range of over 700 kilometres.
Again on November 9, India had announced that it had successfully test-launched long-range nuclear-capable strategic ballistic missile, Agni-II.
The test-launches of the nuclear-capable missiles come at a time when both India and Pakistan are engaged in skirmishes along the Line of Control (LoC) and the working boundary and also as India has conveyed to China that it could no longer be issued warnings by anyone saying the South Asian nation was now immensely powerful and held a prominent position on the international stage.