Pakistan Wednesday successfully test-fired an intermediate range
nuclear-capable missile, less than a week after India tested a
5,000-km range missile that can reach deep inside China.
"Pakistan today successfully conducted the launch of intermediate
range ballistic missile Hatf-4 Shaheen-1A weapons system," an army
statement said Wednesday.
"The missile is an improved version of Shaheen-1 with improvements
in range and technical parameters," the statement said.
The missile is capable of "carrying nuclear and conventional
warheads", said the statement from the Inter-Services Public
Pakistan carried out the test after India April 19 test-fired its
long-range nuclear-capable Agni-V missile. With its launch from
Wheeler Island off Odisha coast Thursday, India emerged as a major
missile powerhouse of the world, having developed Agni-V almost
entirely indigenously over the last four years.
Only the US, Russia, China, France and Britain have missiles in
their arsenal that can hit targets 5,000 km and beyond.
Senior Pakistani officials involved in the country's missile
system witnessed Wednesday's missile test, reported Xinhua.
The army statement did not mention the place where the test was
conducted, but said that the missile hit the target in sea.
President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani
congratulated the scientists and the military on the successful
launch of the missile system.
The nuclear-capable Shaheen-1 missile has originally a range of
700 km, according to the army.
In March, Pakistan test-fired a nuclear-capable short-range
surface-to-surface ballistic missile.
The Hatf-2 missile can travel up to 180 km and deliver nuclear as
well as conventional warheads with high accuracy.
Pakistan last April successfully test-fired another short-range
surface-to-surface nuclear capable missile.
Nasr, which also belongs to the Hatf series, can hit targets up to
60 km away.
Barely two months before that, it tested the nuclear-capable Hatf-VII
cruise missile that has a range of 600 km.
India and Pakistan, which have fought four wars since their
partition in 1947, regularly test-fire missiles to display their
Pakistan's missile repertory includes Hatf ballistic missiles and
its variants, Ghaznavi short-range ballistic missile, Ghauri and
Shaheen medium and intermediate range ballistic missiles, Babur
cruise missiles and Baktar-Shikan anti-tank guided missile, most
of which have been developed with China's help.