Success of Shaheen 3 to Boost Pakistan's Space Program

Pakistan has successfully tested Shaheen III ballistic missile with 1700 mile range. The intermediate range missile can hit deep inside India and Israel. Its multi-stage solid-fuel technology can also be used to launch satellites into space. It has been jointly developed by the National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM) and the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO). It's the latest example of dual-use technology.

Pakistan Shaheen 3 Missile Range Source: Washington Post
The missile was successfully test-fired into the Arabian Sea on Monday, March 9, 2015, according to the Strategic Plans Division (SPD) which oversees Pakistan’s nuclear program. Announcing the result, General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, the head of SPD, congratulated NESCOM (National Engineering and Scientific Commission) scientists and engineers for “achieving yet another milestone of historic significance.”


Shaheen-III is the latest in the series of the indigenously produced Shaheen-I and Shaheen-II, which had shorter ranges. “The test launch was aimed at validating various design and technical parameters of the weapon system at maximum range,” the Pakistani military said in a statement. Pakistani military leaders are trying to maintain a “credible deterrence” as arch-rival India continues to invest heavily in military hardware.

Since the technology used in satellite launch vehicles (SLV) is virtually identical to that used in a ballistic missile, Shaheen 3, the latest enhancement to Shaheen series of missiles, is expected to boost Pakistan's space program as well.  Several nations, including India and Israel recently, have used same rocket motors for  both ballistic missiles and satellite launch vehicles (SLVs).  Israel's Shavit SLV and India's SLV-3 are examples of it.

The success of Shaheen 3 multi-stage solid-fueled ballistic missile is a confirmation of Pakistan's determination to ensure its security AND to pursue its space ambitions at the same time. I congratulate Pakistani engineers and scientists at NESCOM and SUPARCO on their hard work, continuing deep commitment and the latest achievement.

Here's Pakistan's General Kidawi speaking at a Washington Conference:

https://youtu.be/CNZCw0BXKyE





Related Links:

Haq's Musings

India's Israel Envy

Pakistan Space Program

Revolution in Military Affairs

Pakistan Defense Production Goes High-Tech

Drones Outrage and Inspire Pakistanis

RMA Status in Pakistan

Cyber Wars in South Asia

Pakistan's Biggest Ever Arms Bazar

Genomics and Biotech Advances in Pakistan

India's Israel Envy: What if Modi Attacks Pakistan

Eating Grass: Pakistan's Nuclear Program

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan successfully tests its first UCAV armed drone. Burraq fires, hits target with laser-guided missile Barq http://www.samaa.tv/pakistan/13-Mar-2015/pakistan-s-first-armed-drone-hits-a-bull-s-eye …


Pakistan’s first homegrown armed drone Friday successfully test-fired a laser-guided missile with a pinpoint precision, Samaa reported.

According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the military’s media wing, the indigenously developed advanced Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) ‘Burraq’ armed with a new air-to-surface missile ‘Barq’, which means lightning, were tested at an undisclosed location Friday.

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif and other senior commanders were present onthe test site, said a tweet posted by DG ISPR Asim Bajwa.

After witnessing a successful test-fire, the COAS patted on the back of all the engineers/scientists who worked day in day out to stand Pakistan on the map of the developers of hi-tech UCAVs.

Bajwa quoted the army chief as terming it a great national achievement, which would help the armed forces rev up their anti-terror crackdown.

The drone, Burraq, which translates as "flying horse from the heavens" was jointly worked up by Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and the National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM), a civilian defence research and development organisation.

It is pertinent to note that United States has run a controversial drone programme against militant hideouts in northwestern tribal areas bordering Afghanistan since 2004.

Pakistan publicly opposes the missile strikes by US drones, terming them a violation of its territorial sovereignty and has long asked the US to give them the technology required to run their own programme.

Washington pressed Islamabad for years to wipe out the Islamist militant hideouts in the North Waziristan tribal area, which has long been a safe haven for Al-Qaeda and the homegrown Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) as well as foreign fighters such as Uzbeks and Uighurs.

http://www.samaa.tv/pakistan/13-Mar-2015/pakistan-s-first-armed-drone-hits-a-bull-s-eye
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an Indian analyst's view of "The Consequences of a Pakistani Sea-Based Nuclear Second Strike Capability"

Last week, Franz-Stefan Gady provided a helpful round-up of the confusing evidence surrounding the existence of Pakistan’s sea-based second nuclear strike capability. Since 2012, when Pakistan created its Naval Strategic Force Command, there has been considerable concern, in India and elsewhere, that Pakistan is close to imminently operationalizing a sea-based second strike capability. Though analysts remain divided over the question of how far Pakistan has taken its sea-based deterrent (we know, for example, that Pakistan has neither the quantity nor quality of submarines to effectively implement this yet), it’s worth understanding the consequences of such a development on strategic stability in South Asia.

First, what we know now suggests that any Pakistani sea-based second strike capability will depend on a sea-launched variant of the Hatf-VII Babur cruise missile. The Hatf-VII, a medium-range subsonic cruise missile, tops out at a range of 700 km, meaning that a submarine-based launch system would need to operate in waters relatively close to the prospective enemy’s shores (in Pakistan’s case, India). This brings up a problem for Pakistan’s plans for a sea-based deterrent that more established nuclear powers with sea-based deterrents such as the United States, Russia, and the United Kingdom haven’t faced. The credibility of a second strike capability lies in the difficult of detecting submarines carrying submarine-launch ballistic missiles. Undersea radars and other anti-submarine warfare techniques, already a major point of interest for the Indian armed forces, could undermine Pakistan’s sea-based deterrent.

Interestingly, this observation means that the actual specifications of the submarine being engineered for Pakistan’s sea-based deterrent, with the help of China, is less interesting than the actual delivery vehicle. Even if Pakistan manages to operate submarines on par with China’s Type 032 Qing-class or Type 041 Yuan-class, capable of launching longer-range land attack cruise missiles (a max range of 1,500 km), these missiles are only capable of being armed with “unitary tactical nuclear warheads,” according to globalsecurity.org – a far cry from the strategic nuclear deterrent necessary to credibly field a second strike capability. Experts note that Pakistan will need a submarine fleet comprising 14 vessels in order to keep one nuclear-armed sub on stand-by at all times. Back under Pervez Musharraf’s leadership, Pakistan planned to expand its fleet to 12 vessels.

Additionally, as Bruno Tertias noted in a thoughtful post over at the Lowy Interpreter last year, even if we generously acknowledge a credible strategic sea-based second strike capability to Pakistan, there is no reason to believe that conventional strategic stability logic would apply; i.e., sea-based second strike capabilities existing on both sides of the India-Pakistan nuclear balance would lead to better long-term stability.

Also worth noting is that currently, nuclear escalation in South Asia is not an entirely frictionless process given India’s mostly credible No First-Use doctrine and Pakistan’s claim that it keeps its warheads separated from its launchers (even though it maintains a First-Use policy for deterrent purposes). For a conflict across the Radcliffe Line to escalate into a full-blown strategic nuclear exchange, Pakistan’s National Command Authority (NCA) would have to explicitly authorize nuclear use. A Pakistani sea-based deterrent would make this traditional decoupling of warheads from launchers less viable and, as a result, make nuclear first-use by Pakistan more likely. Not only will this possibility cause Indian strategic planners to lose sleep, but it would draw considerable concern from the United States and other nuclear powers.


http://thediplomat.com/2015/03/the-consequences-of-a-pakistani-sea-based-nuclear-second-strike-capability/
Riaz Haq said…
#China vows to deepen maritime security ties with #Pakistan: report http://tribune.com.pk/story/859341/china-vows-to-deepen-maritime-security-ties-with-pakistan-report/ …

BEIJING: China on Thursday vowed to deepen maritime security, anti-terrorism, security and military cooperation with Pakistan to further strengthen their ‘all-weather’ strategic ties.

The “pledge” was made by Chinese Central Military Commission Vice Chairperson General Fan Changlong during his meeting with Pakistan Navy Chief Muhammad Zakaullah in Beijing.

Fan said China hopes to enhance coordination and cooperation with Pakistan on regional security affairs.

“China is willing to deepen cooperation with Pakistan in anti-terrorism, maritime security and military technology,” Fan said.

China together with Pakistan will push for the construction of the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor within the construct of China’s “Belt and Road” initiatives.

Zakaullah said that Pakistan will work with China to deepen logical cooperation between the two armed forces.

Previously, the Pakistan naval chief said that Pakistan Navy and PLA Navy are strengthening their existing maritime cooperation, keeping in mind the changing regional international scenarios.

Yesterday (Wednesday) Zakaullah met with Commander of the PLA (Navy) Admiral Wu Shengli and said that the navies of Pakistan and China have been cooperating for decades.

He said that military cooperation between the two countries is extensive and it covers equipment, personnel exchanges and joint exercises.

Zakaullah said Pakistan strongly supports PLA Navy’s enhanced role in the international arena.
Riaz Haq said…
The story with India and Pakistan is they still have growing nuclear arsenals. These limited technical agreements have not produced the kind of foundation for that broader relationship that some of the analysis talking about Iran seems to expect.

SIEGEL: What do you make of the argument that countries that acquire nuclear arsenals, even if they sound remarkably belligerent before that time, tend to behave fairly responsibly once they do have nuclear arsenals?

O'DONNELL: Well, I mean, to that I can only say look at the example of North Korea. You know, it's one of the most irresponsible states in the world. It's always making nuclear threats. If a state has nuclear weapons, that doesn't automatically guarantee a certain format of behavior.

SIEGEL: And the India-Pakistan conflict - I mean, do you think of it as one that actually has the potential of turning into a nuclear exchange anytime in the even distant future?

O'DONNELL: I don't see that getting to the level of a nuclear exchange. However, what concerns me is that there is not a sustainable, ongoing dialogue to reduce tensions between India and Pakistan. What has happened in recent years is that both sides adopt a tough stance and start escalating, and they both wait for the United States to come in and provide both of them the face-saving exercise that the United States will intervene and bring them both down. There are not mechanisms to de-escalate once a crisis emerges.

SIEGEL: Yeah.

O'DONNELL: That is what I find most concerning about the situation there.

SIEGEL: That addressing the question of nuclear weapons can be a remarkably compartmentalized and technical development and really have no implications for a more peaceful relations between countries.

O'DONNELL: I think that India and Pakistan developed nuclear weapons out of both of their own sense of security threat. And for there to be some measures of reducing nuclear tensions, this has to be part of a broader political dialogue involving what both of their own threat perceptions are, and also, I argue, including China as well because China is very much part of the South Asian strategic environment. It's very much a player in the region.

SIEGEL: Do you see any parallels between Iran today and Pakistan and India at the point where they were intent on developing nuclear weapons?

O'DONNELL: The main parallel I see with Iran - up until really the Obama administration came in, the activities it was conducting up to that point seemed to me very reminiscent of what India was doing - the position it had up until it conducted testing in 1998. For a long period - say, from about the mid '80s and up until 1998, what India did was it had the capability. It had all the material. It had the knowledge. It had, you know, the missiles all sitting disassembled in its basement. By doing that, it meant that it would not be sanctioned as it was after 1998 for conducting the nuclear tests. However, it could in some ways behave like a nuclear-weapon state. It could throw its weight around a bit more. And I wonder if Iranians who are, you know, running the program did look at India's experience as a guide.



http://www.npr.org/2015/03/30/396405005/iran-talks-shed-light-on-nuclear-tensions-between-india-pakistan
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan to buy 8 #Chinese attack submarines. Biggest ever multi-billion dollar arms export deal for #China http://on.wsj.com/1ameN1S @WSJ

Pakistan’s plan to buy eight Chinese submarines is likely to be one of China’s biggest arms deals and to intensify an emerging undersea contest in the Indian Ocean.

The deal, confirmed by a senior Pakistani defense official, is also expected to be among Pakistan’s biggest-ever weapons purchases.

Rear Admiral Mukhtar Khan, additional secretary in Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence, revealed the plan at a meeting of parliament’s Standing Committee on Defence on Tuesday, according to an official record of the meeting.

The official record quoted him saying that “the National Security Committee (NSC) has approved, in principle the project to acquire eight Chinese submarines. Financial negotiations for the same are in advance stages.”

The National Security Committee is the top decision-making body for defense issues, with both civilian leadership—including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif—and the military chiefs sitting on this committee.

Pakistan Navy officials declined to comment. An official in the press office of China’s Defense Ministry referred questions on the submarine deal to local defense industry representatives but declined to say which ones were involved.

A senior Pakistani government official said that discussions were ongoing, but the financial and technical details of the deal won’t be publicly discussed until negotiations are wrapped up and it has actually been signed.

China and Pakistan have had close relations for decades based largely on their mutual suspicion of India, and China has long been one of Pakistan’s main arms suppliers.

Hua Chunying, a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman, didn’t respond directly when asked about the submarine deal on Thursday but said: “China and Pakistan are traditional friends and neighbors.”

She said that China abided by its principles and international standards when selling arms.

She also said that Chinese President Xi Jinping was looking forward to paying a state visit to Pakistan “as soon as possible” and both sides were in close contact on that issue. She didn’t give a date for the visit.

Military experts and defense industry publications say the deal is most likely for Pakistan to buy China’s diesel-powered Yuan class attack submarines, which are also known as Type 039A or Type 041.

However, some earlier reports have suggested that Pakistan could purchase another Chinese diesel-powered attack submarine called the Qing class, or Type 032.

Pakistan’s navy currently operates five French-designed Agosta class submarines, two purchased in the 1970s and three in the 1990s, according to the navy’s official website.

“I think the reasoning for Pakistan, is, as always, competition with India,” said James Hardy, Asia Pacific editor of IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly.

“These subs would be attack subs so conventionally armed [antiship missiles and torpedoes rather than nuclear armed] and would be designed to complicate any Indian blockade operations around Karachi or elsewhere in the event of a war. ”

China’s global arms exports more than doubled between the five-year period ended in 2009 and the five-year period ended in 2014, according to an annual report on weapons transfers published last month by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

China was Pakistan’s biggest arms supplier between 2010 and 2014, accounting for 51% of Pakistani weapons imports. The U.S. was in second place with 30%, according to the report.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/pakistan-to-buy-eight-chinese-submarines-1427969061
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan To Buy 8 Submarines From China

He (Analyst Haris Khan) said the Type-214 deal was the centerpiece of the naval aspect of the AFDP, and that the first submarine would have been delivered in 2015. The naval aspect of the AFDP especially is in total disarray, he said.

It is unknown if the Type-214 was shelved until finances become available (some industry officials believe this was at least the intention at the time the deal collapsed), but attention subsequently switched to acquiring six AIP-equipped submarines from China.

Due to the need to decommission the Agosta-70s, Khan believes any refurbished submarines will be required to be "sailing under a Pakistani flag within 12 months."

Acquiring Turkish Type-209s remains possible, and despite Pakistan's predicament, Khan says "Under the present circumstances I don't see any collaboration between Pakistan and Turkey since Pakistan will only be locally producing Chinese submarines."

Whether the Chinese submarines are the S-20 export derivative of the Type-039A/Type-041 Yuan-class submarine, or a bespoke design, is unclear. But the Yuan has also been mentioned, and according to government officials the deal was supposed to be secured by the end of 2014.

If the deal transpires, Khan said it will be the largest ever Sino-Pakistani deal. He believes the submarines will each cost $ 250 million to $325 million.

Neither the Ministry of Defence nor the Navy would shed further light when asked. No answers were forthcoming to requests regarding the timeframe of the deal, whether the two Agosta-70s will finally be retired now the number of planned Chinese submarines has increased to eight, clarification on acquiring surplus Western submarines, or the status of the Type-214 acquisition efforts.

Should the Chinese deal go through, it will be a considerable relief, and be especially significant for the nuclear deterrent.

Pakistan inaugurated its Naval Strategic Force Command in 2012 in response to India's rapid nuclearization.

A potential force of 8 AIP-equipped Chinese subs and the three Agosta-90Bs "is a quantum leap in existing capabilities," said Mansoor Ahmed of Quaid-e-Azam University's Department of Defence and Strategic Studies.

Though acknowledging nuclear-powered attack boats are far more capable, he believes "An AIP [diesel-electric submarine] offers Pak the best bang for the buck. But it has to be supplemented with a commensurate investment in [anti-submarine warfare] capabilities to neutralize developments on the Indian side."

He said this will lay the groundwork for having a permanent sea-based deterrent equipped with plutonium-based warheads fitted to cruise missiles, "which is expected to be the next major milestone in Pakistan's development of a triad."

Ahmed acknowledges this "would pose fresh challenges for ensuring effective and secure communications at all times with the submarines for both India and Pak in addition to having a mated-arsenal at sea that would require pre-delegation of launch authority at some level for both countries.

"This would be an altogether new challenge that would have to be addressed for an effective sea-based deterrent."

Nevertheless, AIP-equipped conventional submarines "provide reliable second strike platforms, [and] an assured capability resides with [nuclear-powered attack and nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines], which are technically very complex and challenging to construct and operate compared to SSKs, and also very capital intensive."

http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/naval/submarines/2015/04/03/pakistan-to-buy-8-submarines-from-china/25233481/
Riaz Haq said…
The Balance of Terror
Who’s Afraid of Iran’s Big Bad Bomb? by Uri Averny

According to foreign experts, Israel has several hundred nuclear bombs (assessments vary between 80-400. If Iran sends its bombs and obliterates most of Israel (myself included), Israeli submarines will obliterate Iran. Whatever I might think about Binyamin Netanyahu, I rely on him and our security chiefs to keep our “second strike” capability intact. Just last week we were informed that Germany had delivered another state-of-the-art submarine to our navy for this purpose.

Israeli idiots – and there are some around – respond: “Yes, but the Iranian leaders are not normal people. They are madmen. Religious fanatics. They will risk the total destruction of Iran just to destroy the Zionist state. Like exchanging queens in chess.”

Such convictions are the outcome of decades of demonizing. Iranians – or at least their leaders – are seen as subhuman miscreants.

Reality shows us that the leaders of Iran are very sober, very calculating politicians. Cautious merchants in the Iranian bazaar style. They don’t take unnecessary risks. The revolutionary fervor of the early Khomeini days is long past, and even Khomeini would not have dreamt of doing anything so close to national suicide.

According to the Bible, the great Persian king Cyrus allowed the captive Jews of Babylon to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their temple. At that time, Persia was already an ancient civilization – both cultural and political.

After the “return from Babylon”, the Jewish commonwealth around Jerusalem lived for 200 years under Persian suzerainty. I was taught in school that these were happy years for the Jews.

Since then, Persian culture and history has lived through another two and a half millennia. Persian civilization is one of the oldest in the world. It has created a great religion and influenced many others, including Judaism. Iranians are fiercely proud of that civilization.

To imagine that the present leaders of Iran would even contemplate risking the very existence of Persia out of hatred of Israel is both ridiculous and megalomaniac.

Moreover, throughout history, relations between Jews and Persians have almost always been excellent. When Israel was founded, Iran was considered a natural ally, part of David Ben-Gurion’s “strategy of the periphery” – an alliance with all the countries surrounding the Arab world.

The Shah, who was re-installed by the American and British secret services, was a very close ally. Teheran was full of Israeli businessmen and military advisers. It served as a base for the Israeli agents working with the rebellious Kurds in northern Iraq who were fighting against the regime of Saddam Hussein.

After the Islamic revolution, Israel still supported Iran against Iraq in their cruel 8-year war. The notorious Irangate affair, in which my friend Amiram Nir and Oliver North played such an important role, would not have been possible without the old Iranian-Israeli ties.

Even now, Iran and Israel are conducting amiable arbitration proceedings about an old venture: the Eilat-Ashkelon oil pipeline built jointly by the two countries.

If the worst comes to the worst, nuclear Israel and nuclear Iran will live in a Balance of Terror.

Highly unpleasant, indeed. But not an existential menace.

However, for those who live in terror of the Iranian nuclear capabilities, I have a piece of advice: use the time we still have.

Under the American-Iranian deal, we have at least 10 years before Iran could start the final phase of producing the bomb.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/04/03/whos-afraid-of-irans-big-bad-bomb/
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan is the only #Muslim nuclear state – so why is #Israel's hysteria reserved for #Iran? http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.657319 …


Unlike Iran, Pakistan doesn't call for Israel's destruction. But in certain ways, Islamabad poses more of a threat to Israel than Tehran does.


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry caused a stir recently, when he said in an interview with Israel’s Channel 10 that Israeli critics of the emerging deal with Iran were guilty of “a lot of hysteria.” He has a point. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the Lausanne deal would “endanger Israel – big time” and “make the world a much more dangerous place.”

Yet in March, Pakistan test-fired a nuclear-capable ballistic missile, the Shaheen III, which Pakistani officials said can reach Israel. This event was barely noticed in Jerusalem.

In view of the disturbing nuclear developments in Pakistan as well as in North Korea and Russia, the hysteria expressed by prominent Israeli politicians and journalists over the recent draft agreement with Iran is unwarranted. The threat posed to India, South Korea, Poland and the Baltic states from their nuclear-armed neighbors is arguably at least as great as that which Israel is facing from Iran.

Regular warnings are sounded in Israel about the dangers facing the world from nuclear terrorism once Iran obtains a nuclear weapon, but is this not a case of locking the stable door after the horse has bolted? The threat of nuclear terrorism has existed since the collapse of the Soviet Union and has grown significantly as Pakistan has cemented its status as a nuclear weapons state.

Indeed, one could argue that Islamabad poses more of a threat to Israel than Tehran does. After all, we cannot be certain that Iran will take the next step and acquire a nuclear weapon, but Pakistan already possesses over 100 nuclear warheads.

It is understandable why this is rarely discussed in Israel: Though Pakistan is the first Muslim state with a nuclear weapons program, it does not call for Israel’s destruction or sponsor terror attacks against Israel. A nuclear Iran, by contrast, would receive cover to step up its hegemonic ambitions in the region and intensify its support for terrorism against the Jewish state.

In addition, Pakistan has taken measures in recent years to strengthen oversight for its nuclear facilities and has dismantled proliferation networks. And even if Pakistan were to disintegrate tomorrow, it would be India, not Israel, that would be first in line to face Islamabad’s nuclear warheads, whereas Israel would certainly believe itself to be the first potential target of a nuclear Iran.

But despite Islamabad’s obsession with India, Pakistani officials have also spoken on occasion about the need to deter Israel. And were Pakistan to disintegrate, it could pose an imminent threat not only to India but also to the Middle East, including Israel.

During his first term in office, U.S. President Barack Obama reportedly told his staff that the possible breakup of Pakistan and the subsequent danger of a scramble for nuclear weapons was his greatest national security concern. Indeed, terrorists have tried on several occasions to assassinate the former president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf. In such circumstances, Pakistan’s nuclear weapons could be stolen or smuggled out of the country, with the possibility of rogue elements targeting Israel.

http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.657319
Riaz Haq said…
This #Pakistan #nuclear missile, Shaheen III with 2,750 Km, can hit targets anywhere in #India. #Nukes #Missiles http://journalobserver.com/2015/12/this-pakistan-missile-can-hit-targets-anywhere-in-india/ …

Pakistan test-fired a nuclear-capable ballistic missile on Friday (Dec 11), the military said, two days after the government confirmed it would resume high-level peace talks with arch-rival India.

The military said it had fired a Shaheen III surface-to-surface ballistic missile which can carry nuclear and conventional warheads within a range of 2,750km.

Shaheen-III has a maximum range of 2,750 kilometers (1, 700 miles).

According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the test flight was aimed at validating various design and technical parameters of the weapon system.

Pakistan became a declared nuclear power in 1998.

The test was witnessed by senior officers from Strategic Plans Division, Strategic Forces, Scientists and Engineers of Strategic Organisations. He said Pakistan desires peaceful co-existence in the region for which nuclear deterrence would further strengthen strategic stability in South Asia.

It may be noted here that the Shaheen-I and Shaheen-II missiles were test-fired in Pakistan a year ago.

India and Pakistan are longtime foes engaged in a regional arms race, stemming from a conflict dating back to Britain's partitioning of its Indian protectorate into what now are India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Riaz Haq said…
#China Newspaper: Range of #Pakistan's #nuclear #missiles will increase if #India continues to extend its range.

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1027113.shtml

On Monday, India successfully tested its long-range ballistic missile, Agni-IV, which can travel 4,000 kilometers and carry a nuclear warhead, in the wake of an earlier successful test-firing of Agni-V that has a range of more than 5,000 kilometers. The country's media were elated in their reports, stressing that India's tests of the nuclear-capable ballistic missile "covers entire China." "Agni-V can deter China," said The Times of India.

India has broken the UN's limits on its development of nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missile. The US and some Western countries have also bent the rules on its nuclear plans. New Delhi is no longer satisfied with its nuclear capability and is seeking intercontinental ballistic missiles that can target anywhere in the world and then it can land on an equal footing with the UN Security Council's five permanent members.

India is "promising" in vying for permanent membership on the UN Security Council as it is the sole candidate who has both nuclear capability and economic potential.

China should realize that Beijing wouldn't hold back India's development of long-range ballistic missiles.

However, Chinese don't feel India's development has posed any big threat to it. And India wouldn't be considered as China's main rival in the long run. It is simply believed that currently there is a vast disparity in power between the two countries and India knows what it would mean if it poses a nuclear threat to China. The best choice for Beijing and New Delhi is to build rapport.

If the Western countries accept India as a nuclear country and are indifferent to the nuclear race between India and Pakistan, China will not stand out and stick rigidly to those nuclear rules as necessary. At this time, Pakistan should have those privileges in nuclear development that India has.

China is sincere in developing friendly ties with India. But it will not sit still if India goes too far. Meanwhile, New Delhi understands that it does little good to itself if the Sino-Indian relations are ruined by any geopolitical tricks.

In general, it is not difficult for India to produce intercontinental ballistic missiles which can cover the whole world. If the UN Security Council has no objection over this, let it be. The range of Pakistan's nuclear missiles will also see an increase. If the world can adapt to these, China should too.

India still maintains a strategic defensive posture before China. The Chinese people should not be led astray by India's extreme words online about its deterrence ability against China. There are similar rhetorics targeting at India in China's cyber world. But, these aggressive online rhetorics count for little.

At present, India's GDP accounts for about 20 percent of China's. China's strategic nuclear missiles have long ago realized global coverage, and China's overall military industrial capacity is much better than that of India.

For India, China is something to inspire ambition and invoke patriotism. However, India should realize that owning several missiles does not mean it is a nuclear power. Even though India does become a nuclear power, it will be a long time before it can show off its strength to the world.

Riaz Haq said…
The Pakistan military has reportedly conducted the first successful flight test of a new medium range ballistic missile (MRBM), according to the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media arm of the Pakistan Armed Forces.

The test involved the successful launch of the surface-to-surface MRBM Ababeel, reportedly capable of carrying multiple warheads using Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicle technology (MIRV). The new missile purportedly has a maximum range of 2,200 kilometers (1,367 miles).


---------------

A third MRBM, the Shaheen-III, a multi-stage fueled ballistic missile with an estimated range of 2,750 kilometers (1,700 miles) is currently still under development by the National Development Complex. It is possible that the Ababeel is a more robust and redesigned variant of the Shaheen-III fitted with an improved terminal guidance system, among other modifications. Indeed, in order to accommodate a MIRV warhead, the Shaheen-III would in all likelihood have undergone a complete redesign.

Based on the press release it is unclear, however, whether Pakistan has mastered MIRV technology given that it merely mentions that the missile is “capable” of being fitted with a MIRV warhead, rather than announcing that it has mastered the technology and developed MIRV payloads.

And while the test will cause alarm in New Delhi, Islamabad will need to further invest in and develop intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities including satellite technology (e.g., by adapting and refining China’s Beidou-II satellite navigation system for Pakistan’s sea- and land-based missile systems) to operationalize ballistic missiles capable of carrying multiple warheads and field a credible MIRV capability.

Nevertheless, the possible introduction of MIRV warheads is a clear sign that the nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan is escalating. The mentioning of MIRV technology in the press release announces a new and more dangerous stage in the nuclear arms competition in South Asia.

http://thediplomat.com/2017/01/pakistan-tests-new-ballistic-missile-capable-of-carrying-multiple-nuclear-warheads/

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