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Babur-III: Pakistan conducts first test of submarine-launched cruise missile

Pakistan fires its first submarine-launched nuclear missile Babur-III and boasts it now has a 'credible second strike capability'
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Pakistan has test-fired its first submarine-launched cruise missile Babur-III, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and the country’s military says it gives them a credible second strike capability, the country’s military says.

  • Pakistani missile is named Babur (Urdu for Tiger) and has range of 280 miles
  • It can carry a nuclear warhead and would allow them to strike back at India
  • Tension between Pakistan and India has been rising after clashes in Kashmir

Pakistan Launches First Nuclear-Capable Cruise Missile From Sub

The military said in a statement on January 9 that the missile was fired from the Indian Ocean and hit its target.

The missile was fired from an underwater mobile platform and hit its target with precise accuracy, said Pakistan’s military spokesman. He confirmed the missile, with a range of 280 miles, could carry a nuclear warhead.

“Babur-3…in land-attack mode is capable of delivering various types of payloads and will provide Pakistan with a credible second strike capability, augmenting deterrence,” the statement said.

“While the pursuit and now the successful attainment of a second strike capability by Pakistan represents a major scientific milestone, it is manifestation of the strategy of measured response to nuclear strategies and postures being adopted in Pakistan’s neighbourhood,” it added.

Footage posted on Twitter by military spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor showed the missile emerging from the water and cruising over land before hitting a target on land.

Though the military did not give details, reports have suggested that the Pakistan Navy’s Agosta 90B class submarines have been configured to launch cruise missiles.

A ‘nuclear daisy chain’

Pakistan’s launch of Babur-III comes after India tested its intercontinental Agni-V ballistic missile in December. Analysts say Pakistan has been working on its second-strike capability for some time, so the timing may not have been affected by India’s launch.

Babur-3 SLCM

Babur-3 SLCM in land-attack mode, is capable of delivering various types of payloads and will provide Pakistan with a Credible Second Strike Capability, augmenting deterrence. While the pursuit and now the successful attainment of a second strike capability by Pakistan represents a major scientific milestone, it is a manifestation of the strategy of measured response to nuclear strategies and postures being adopted in Pakistan’s neighborhood.

US sanctions against Pakistan

Last month, the US government had placed sanctions against seven Pakistani entities allegedly associated with the country’s missile programme. The move came about on December 15, 2016, when an unexpected notification by the US Department of Commerce named the entities and added them to the Export Administration Regulations list, saying “these government, parastatal and private entities in Pakistan are determined to be involved in activities that are contrary to the national security and/or foreign policy of the United States.”

All seven have been placed on the entity list under the destination of Pakistan. They are identified as:

(1) Ahad International Suite.

(2) Air Weapons Complex (AWC).

(3) Engineering Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

(4) Maritime Technology Complex (MTC).

(5) National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM).

(6) New Auto Engineering (NAE).

(7) Universal Tooling Services.