Pak fires Shaheen in tit-for-tat test



Pak fires Shaheen in tit-for-tat test
Pakistan successfully launched an upgraded ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead on Wednesday.

 Pakistan tested an upgraded version of its Shaheen missile on Wednesday, in an apparent retaliation to India'sAgni V launch. A Pakistani army statement said the Shaheen 1A is a nuclear-capable intermediate-range ballistic missile, while military analysts said it was capable of covering almost all of India.

Interestingly, the Pakistani authorities withheld crucial information about the missile, namely its range, which is what gives a missile its bragging rights. According to reports by observers, the missile touched 1,000km, though there was no confirmation from Pakistan, and its point of impact was in the Indian Ocean. Many of Pakistan's missiles can reach faraway Indian cities, so this was hardly a breakthrough. This has led many to suspect that the question of parity with India was paramount during the test launch.

The test of Shaheen 1A came up for mention in the monthly security review meeting called by defence minister A K Antony on Wednesday, which was attended by national security adviser Shiv Shankar Menon and the three service chiefs.

But the test was largely dismissed as "routine" in nature, with the range of the 750km Shaheen 1 missile probably being extended. Pakistan also has the Shaheen-II missile that has a strike range of 2,500km.

But the test made one thing very clear: Pakistan continues to maintain the "parity" argument with India. Particularly in defence and security matters, Islamabad ignores the growing asymmetry with New Delhi to be seen as "equal". Pakistan's strategic plans division chief Lt Gen (retd) Khalid Ahmed Kidwai said the improved missile version could successfully hit a target in the Indian Ocean and would "further strengthen and consolidate Pakistan's deterrence capabilities''. An expert said the latest launch signifies "Pakistan's resolve to upgrade and modernize its nuclear delivery system''.

"Authorities have not described the missile's exact range but this is perhaps the longest-range missile in Pakistan's nuclear programme. An intermediate-range missile is capable of hitting targets at a distance of 2,500 to 3,000km," said Talat Masood, a defence analyst.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pak fires Shaheen in tit-for-tat test


Pak fires Shaheen in tit-for-tat test
Pakistan successfully launched an upgraded ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead on Wednesday.

 Pakistan tested an upgraded version of its Shaheen missile on Wednesday, in an apparent retaliation to India'sAgni V launch. A Pakistani army statement said the Shaheen 1A is a nuclear-capable intermediate-range ballistic missile, while military analysts said it was capable of covering almost all of India.

Interestingly, the Pakistani authorities withheld crucial information about the missile, namely its range, which is what gives a missile its bragging rights. According to reports by observers, the missile touched 1,000km, though there was no confirmation from Pakistan, and its point of impact was in the Indian Ocean. Many of Pakistan's missiles can reach faraway Indian cities, so this was hardly a breakthrough. This has led many to suspect that the question of parity with India was paramount during the test launch.

The test of Shaheen 1A came up for mention in the monthly security review meeting called by defence minister A K Antony on Wednesday, which was attended by national security adviser Shiv Shankar Menon and the three service chiefs.

But the test was largely dismissed as "routine" in nature, with the range of the 750km Shaheen 1 missile probably being extended. Pakistan also has the Shaheen-II missile that has a strike range of 2,500km.

But the test made one thing very clear: Pakistan continues to maintain the "parity" argument with India. Particularly in defence and security matters, Islamabad ignores the growing asymmetry with New Delhi to be seen as "equal". Pakistan's strategic plans division chief Lt Gen (retd) Khalid Ahmed Kidwai said the improved missile version could successfully hit a target in the Indian Ocean and would "further strengthen and consolidate Pakistan's deterrence capabilities''. An expert said the latest launch signifies "Pakistan's resolve to upgrade and modernize its nuclear delivery system''.

"Authorities have not described the missile's exact range but this is perhaps the longest-range missile in Pakistan's nuclear programme. An intermediate-range missile is capable of hitting targets at a distance of 2,500 to 3,000km," said Talat Masood, a defence analyst.

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