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Pak tests nuke capable missile
Pakistan on Tuesday "successfully" carried out yet another test of its intermediate range ballistic missile Hataf-V, with a strike range of 1500 km capable of carrying nuclear and conventional warheads and targetting most of the Indian cities.

The test of Hatf V, also known as Ghauri, was successfully carried out as part of a series of tests planned for the Ghauri Missile System, a defence press release here said.

"The test completely validated all the design parameters. The successful flight test bears testimony to the fact that the Ghauri Weapon System is based on the highest standards of scientific and technological advancements," it said.

Claiming that the missile was indigenously built, it said the missile incorporates highly refined guidance and control systems and superior technology capable of achieving the greatest accuracy.

The Ghauri missile has a range of nearly 1500 kms and can carry nuclear and other warheads. It was handed over to the Army Strategic Forces Command in 2003.

The test carried out from an unknown location was witnessed by Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, the new Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Ehsan-ul Haq besides other senior military officers and scientists.

India and other neighbouring countries have been given advance notices as per standard practice, it said.

President Pervez Musharraf and Aziz have expressed satisfaction at the "outstanding results" achieved and complimented the scientists and engineers of the country's premier nuclear installation the Kahuta Reseatch Laboratories (KRL).

The press release quoted Musharraf and Aziz as saying that the nation is proud of its scientists and holds them in the highest esteem "for making the national defence impregnabe."

There was no explanation here about the significance of the timing of the missile test. The same missile was test-fired few times in the recent past, the last on June 4.

The recent tests were sought to be explained by the officials here as an attempt to demonstrate to the domestic critics that there was no roleback of Pakistan's missile and nuclear programme despite the close relations with United States.

Pakistan has so far testfired short and medium range missiles, which critics say resembled North Korean missiles. The missiles tested included Hataf -1 with 280 kms, Gahaznavi-600 kms Hataf-3, a short range missile which could carry nuclear or conventional war head upto around 290 and Hataf-V with range of 1500 km.


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:21 AM


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