Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Pakistan’s Ghauri Nuclear Missile Test-Launched

Pakistan has test-launched a medium-range, nuclear-capable ballistic missile design named the Ghauri or Hatf-V.

That's according to a statement released on 28 November 2012, which said the firing took place at an unspecified location and described the missile involved as having an 800+ mile range.

The statement added that the Ghauri test launch served to reinforce Pakistan's defence capabilities and that it concluded an exercise designed to ensure that the country's Army Strategic Force Command was operationally deployable.

Ghauri Missile Launch

Overseeing the Ghauri missile launch was Pakistan's National Command Centre, ‘through the medium of the National Command Authority's fully automated strategic command and control support system', officials explained. It's this National Command Authority that watches permanently over Pakistan's nuclear weapons stock.

Once the Army Strategic Force Command's training had finished, approval was given by Raja Pervez Ashraf and Asif Ali Zardari - Pakistan's Prime Minister and President, respectively - who singled-out ‘the proficient handling of the weapon system in the field and the accuracy of the training launch.'

The same medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) has been launched on previous occasions, apparently from 1998 onwards.

Pakistan's Ghauri Nuclear Missile

Liquid fuel-powered, Pakistan's Ghauri nuclear missile is launched by a TEL (Transporter Erector Launcher) system and, when in flight, directed by an Inertial Guidance System. It takes its name from the historical figure Shahabuddin Muhammad Ghauri and, say US-based military analysts, is heavily based on the North Korean Rodoing-1 missile.

This year alone, Pakistan has carried out a multitude of nuclear-capable missile launches - the shorter-range Hatf-VII's firing among them.

Historically, Pakistan and India have tended to launch missiles in sequence, each showcasing its military strengths. Just last month, India test-launched two missiles within hours of each other. Since becoming independent from Britain 65 years ago, India and Pakistan have fought four times, most recently in 1999.

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