As usual, right before the passage of an aid bill to Pakistan, a plethora of lobbies begin their disinformation campaigns. This latest one is pretty absurd. According to the Pakistanphobes that want to derail the aid package to Pakistan Islamabad has supposedly modified vintage Anti-ship US Harpoon missiles. This silly argument is as stupid as it sounds. Pakistan has a very advanced missile program and has tested short range, medium range and long range missiles. Pakistan has been testing the missiles for over three decades.
Much to the chagrin of its enemies, Pakistan has expedited its nuclear program. The ISIS makes it look its breaking news. It is now reporting that Pakistan has a Plutonium program. The ISIS analysts may have been living in a cave, because Islamabad has always had a Plutonium program. Obviously the program is ongoing and and will surely add to the number of bombs that it possesses.
Pakistan’s multifaceted missile program has various components
- Short Range Missiles: Hataf
- Medium Range Missiles: Shaheen
- Long Range Missiles: Ghauri
- ICBM/SLV: Taimur
The recent US charge about reverse engineering ancient US kits doesn’t make any sense at all. The dispute highlights the level of mistrust that remains between the United States and a Pakistani military. So what are the reasons for the inane accusation. The New York Times sheds some light on the reasons:
- ..the subtext of the argument is growing concern about the speed with which Pakistan is developing new generations of both conventional and nuclear weapons. “There’s a concerted effort to get these guys to slow down,”
- At issue is the detection by American intelligence agencies of a suspicious missile test on April 23 — a test never announced by the Pakistanis — that appeared to give the country a new offensive weapon.
The Pakistan missile program is one of the most advanced in the world. Most international experts are very skeptical of the American claims.
- … the Harpoon missile did not have the necessary range for a land-attack missile, which would lend credibility to Pakistani claims that they are developing their own new missile. Moreover, he said, Pakistan already has more modern land-attack missiles that it developed itself or acquired from China. Robert Hewson, editor of Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons, a yearbook and Web-based data service
- “They’re beyond the need to reverse-engineer old U.S. kit,” …“They’re more sophisticated than that.” …the ship-to-shore missile that Pakistan was testing was part of a concerted effort to develop an array of conventional missiles that could be fired from the air, land or sea to address India’s much more formidable conventional missile arsenal.Robert Hewson, editor of Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons, a yearbook and Web-based data service
The Pakistani missile program is a program of survival, self-preservation, dreams, defense and direct competition with India. In many ways, the program is ahead of its much larger neighbor’s program. Its deterrent value was proven, even in its early stages of development when it kept more than 250,000 soldiers on the Pakistani borders at bay in 2002. It also prevented Bharat from attacking Pakistan in the 90s when Zia Ul Haq was president. The US claim is all the more ridiculous because Bharat has admitted that Pakistan has a very robust missile program.
The range of Pakistan’s India-centric missiles. The Pakistani missile program is helping it develop a space program
WASHINGTON — The United States has accused Pakistan of illegally modifying American-made missiles to expand its capability to strike land targets, a potential threat to India, according to senior administration and Congressional officials.
The charge, which set off a new outbreak of tensions between the United States and Pakistan, was made in an unpublicized diplomatic protest in late June to Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and other top Pakistani officials.
The accusation comes at a particularly delicate time, when the administration is asking Congress to approve $7.5 billion in aid to Pakistan over the next five years, and when Washington is pressing a reluctant Pakistani military to focus its attentions on fighting the Taliban, rather than expanding its nuclear and conventional forces aimed at India.
While American officials say that the weapon in the latest dispute is a conventional one — based on the Harpoon antiship missiles that were sold to Pakistan by the Reagan administration as a defensive weapon in the cold war — the subtext of the argument is growing concern about the speed with which Pakistan is developing new generations of both conventional and nuclear weapons.
“There’s a concerted effort to get these guys to slow down,” one senior administration official said. “Their energies are misdirected.”
At issue is the detection by American intelligence agencies of a suspicious missile test on April 23 — a test never announced by the Pakistanis — that appeared to give the country a new offensive weapon.
American military and intelligence officials say they suspect that Pakistan has modified the Harpoon antiship missiles that the United States sold the country in the 1980s, a move that would be a violation of the Arms Control Export Act. Pakistan has denied the charge, saying it developed the missile itself. The United States has also accused Pakistan of modifying American-made P-3C aircraft for land-attack missions, another violation of United States law that the Obama administration has protested.NY Times. By ERIC SCHMITT and DAVID E. SANGER. Published: August 29, 2009 U.S. Accuses Pakistan of Altering Missiles.
Pakistani missiles: Hataf, Ghauri, Babar, Abdali missiles
Pakistan has first strike capability covering the entire South Asian Subcontinent . It also has 2nd strike capability with missiles that can reach deep into Indian territory. The 250 Nuclear and Hydrogen bombs keep the enemies at bay.
Pakistan has reportedly addressed issues of survivability through second strike capability, possible hard and deeply buried storage andlaunch facilities, road-mobile missiles, air defenses around strategic sites and concealment measures,” the Congressional Research Service (CRS) said in its report on Pak nuclear weapons dating May 15.CRS is the research wing of US Congress, which prepares reports on issues of interest of the US lawmakers.
Pakistan began banking on missiles because of the US embargo on planes. “till the fleet of 500 JF-Thunder aircraft are ready, Pakistan’s nuclear deterrent will be the missile nuclear defense. Pakistan formally kicked off its medium-range missile programme in April 1998, with the first successful test flight of GhauriI missile followed by similar tests the next years involving the nuclear capable Ghauri, Shaheen, Ghaznavi and Abdali missile systems.
Whatever their origin, the missiles would be a significant new entry into Pakistan’s arsenal against India. They would enable Pakistan’s small navy to strike targets on land, complementing the sizable land-based missile arsenal that Pakistan has developed. That, in turn, would be likely to spur another round of an arms race with India that the United States has been trying, unsuccessfully, to halt. “The focus of our concern is that this is a potential unauthorized modification of a maritime antiship defensive capability to an offensive land-attack missile,” said another senior administration official, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity because the matter involves classified information.
“The potential for proliferation and end-use violations are things we watch very closely,” the official added. “When we have concerns, we act aggressively.”
A senior Pakistani official, also speaking on the condition of anonymity because the interchanges with Washington have been both delicate and highly classified, said the American accusation was “incorrect.” The official said that the missile tested was developed by Pakistan, just as it had modified North Korean designs to build a range of land-based missiles that could strike India. He said that Pakistan had taken the unusual step of agreeing to allow American officials to inspect the country’s Harpoon inventory to prove that it had not violated the law, a step that administration officials praised.
Some experts are also skeptical of the American claims. Robert Hewson, editor of Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons, a yearbook and Web-based data service, said the Harpoon missile did not have the necessary range for a land-attack missile, which would lend credibility to Pakistani claims that they are developing their own new missile. Moreover, he said, Pakistan already has more modern land-attack missiles that it developed itself or acquired from China.
“They’re beyond the need to reverse-engineer old U.S. kit,” Mr. Hewson said in a telephone interview. “They’re more sophisticated than that.” Mr. Hewson said the ship-to-shore missile that Pakistan was testing was part of a concerted effort to develop an array of conventional missiles that could be fired from the air, land or sea to address India’s much more formidable conventional missile arsenal.
The dispute highlights the level of mistrust that remains between the United States and a Pakistani military that American officials like to portray as an increasingly reliable partner in the effort to root out the forces of the Taliban and Al Qaeda on Pakistani territory. A central element of the American effort has been to get the military refocused on the internal threat facing the country, rather than on threat the country believes it still faces from India.
Pakistani officials have insisted that they are making that shift. But the evidence continues to point to heavy investments in both nuclear and conventional weapons that experts say have no utility in the battle against insurgents.
Over the years, the United States has provided a total of 165 Harpoon missiles to Pakistan, including 37 of the older-model weapons that were delivered from 1985 to 1988, said Charles Taylor, a spokesman for the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
The country’s nuclear arsenal is expanding faster than any other nation’s. In May, Pakistan conducted a test firing of its Babur medium-range cruise missile, a weapon that military experts say could potentially be tipped with a nuclear warhead. The test was conducted on May 6, during a visit to Washington by President Asif Ali Zardari, but was not made public by Pakistani officials until three days after the meetings had ended to avoid upsetting the talks. While it may be technically possible to arm the Harpoons with small nuclear weapons, outside experts say it would probably not be necessary.
Before Congress departed for its summer recess, administration officials briefed crucial legislators on the protest to Pakistan. The dispute has the potential to delay or possibly even derail the legislation to provide Pakistan with $7.5 billion in civilian aid over five years; lawmakers are scheduled to vote on the aid package when they return from their recess next month.
The legislation is sponsored by Senators John Kerry of Massachusetts and Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, the top Democrat and Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, as well as Representative Howard L. Berman, a California Democrat who leads the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Congressional aides are now reconciling House and Senate versions of the legislation.
Frederick Jones, a spokesman for Mr. Kerry, declined to comment on the details of the dispute citing its classified nature but suggested that the pending multifaceted aid bill would clear Congress “in a few weeks” and would help cooperation between the two countries.
“There have been irritants in the U.S.-Pakistan relationship in the past and there will be in the future,” Mr. Jones said in a statement, noting that the pending legislation would provide President Obama “with new tools to address troubling behavior.” NY Times. By ERIC SCHMITT and DAVID E. SANGER. Published: August 29, 2009 U.S. Accuses Pakistan of Altering Missiles.
Known and publicized Pakistan’s missile efforts consists of three components:
SHORT RANGE MISSILES:The short range Hatf-1 and Hatf-2, of Pakistani design and construction, were developed by the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO).M-11Since 1992, Pakistan has been constructing maintenance facilities, launchers and storage sheds for the missiles. The missile has a range of more than 300 km and a payload of 500 kg. It is a two-stage, solid-propelled missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads. The missile was reportedly test-fired in July 1997.
- Hatf-1, Est. Range: 80 km, Est. Payload: 500 kg, Est. Launch Weight: 1500 kg, Propulsion: Single-stage, Solid propellant, Comments: Mobile platform. Status: flight-tested.
- Even though the Hatf-1, -1A, and Hataf-2were declared operational in the early 1990s, and the Pakistan Army tested the Hatf-1A in February 2000. Western observers feel that both Hataf 1 and Hataf2 programs are likely to have been discontinued. Pakistani analysts find the Hataf 1 and 2 of a lot of value because of he proximity of any enemy movement. The older versions of the Hataf did not have a robust navigational system, but this functionality has been upgraded.
SHAHEEN MEDIUM RANGE:The Shaheen series of solid-propellant missiles were developed by the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), which is also responsible for Pakistan’s plutonium bomb program. They have been compared to the Chinese M-11 missiles. The locally produced longer range Shaheen-I and Shaheen-II appear are comparable to the Chinese M-9 or DF-15 missiles.
Hatf-3, (Tarmuk) (Comparable to Chinese M-11)Est. Range: 300 km, Est. Payload: 500 kg, Est. Launch Weight: N/A
- Propulsion: Two-stage, Solid propellant
- Comments: Mobile platform. Status: flight-tested.
Hatf IV. The DF-15/M-9 (NATO designation CSS-6) is a single-stage, solid-propellant, road mobile, short-range ballistic missile. It can reportedly deliver a 500kg warhead over a range of 600km; other reports suggest that with a smaller warhead, the missile could have a range of 800km. Pakistani government statements suggest that the missiles in Pakistan’s possession have a maximum range of 700-800km. Like the M-11 missiles, control during boost phase is exercised through “exhaust vanes or small scale vernier motors.” The M-9 has a reported 300m circular error probability (CEP) and is believed to employ some form of terminal guidance. Analysts suggest that the missile has a “strapdown inertial guidance system with an onboard digital computer,”….which “enables rapid targeting andeliminates need for wind corrections prior to launch.” Unconfirmed reports suggest that the “separating warhead section has a miniature propulsion system to correct the attitude before re-entry, as well as adjusting the terminal trajectory.”Source NTI
Shaheen 1:The high-precision Shaheen-1 missile has a range of up to 700 kilometers (about 440 miles). It is a railroad platform-based mobile variant of the Pakistani Hatf-IV ballistic missile.
LONG RANGE GHAURI:The Kahuta Laboratories, which is also responsible for Pakistan’s uranium bomb program, has built the Gahuri missile which is also in production. It has been compared to North Korean Nodong and the longer range Taepodong missiles.The Ghauri (Hatf-V) missile was tested in April 1998. The Ghauri is liquid-fueled and is Pakistan’s imported version of the North Korean Nodong, itself a fancy Scud. Official Pakistani statements claim the missile has a maximum range of 1500 km carrying a 700 kg payload, but analysis by the U.S. Department of Defense of the Ghauri puts the range closer to 1000 km. According to Dr. A. Q. Khan, who is credited with being the father of Pakistan’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, the Ghauri flew 1100 km in its flight-test in April, supporting the Pentagon’s analysis. Press reports put the tested range as being between 700 km and 1200 km.The Ghauri is reported to have a relatively large diameter – 1.25 m. Pakistan is capable of producing nuclear warheads approximately the size of a soccer ball and weighing 400 kg, a size which would easily fit on a 1.25 m missile. Dr. Khan claimed that Ghauri is now “fully operational.” And when asked if Pakistan is now capable of deploying nuclear weapons, he replied, “No doubt about it, one should not be under any illusions.” He said it could be done within “not months, not weeks, but within days.”
Hatf-5, (Ghauri 1).‘A Strategic Missile Group (SMG) of Pakistan Army’s Strategic Force Command (ASFC) conducted a successful training launch of Ghauri Missile (IRBM)” . Pakistan’s liquid-engine ballistic missile program is spearheaded by KRL. Comparable to Soviet R-17, and Korean Nodong.
- Est. Range: 1000 km, Est. Payload: 700 kg,
- Est. Launch Weight: 16,000 kg.
- Propulsion: Single-stage, liquid propellant.
- Comments: Mobile platform. Status: flight-tested.
“KRL has also disclosed plans for longer-range versions of the Ghauri: the Ghauri-II and possibly Ghauri-III. A more powerful engine for longer-range versions of the Ghauri is under development. Some statements attributed to Pakistani nuclear scientists and government leaders suggest that the Ghauri-II will have a range of 1,700km; other statements suggest that the Ghauri-III will have a strike-range of 2,000-3,500km” Comparable DPRK Taopodong
Hatf-VI (IRBM) Shaheen II is Pakistan’s longest-range ballistic missile system with a range of 2000 kilometers and has the potential to achieve 2500 kilometers in an advanced version. It is a two-stage solid fuel missile which can carry nuclear and conventional warheads with high accuracy.
April 26, 2008: Pakistan announced that, after nearly a decade of development, its Hatf VI IRBM (Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile) is ready for service. The system, also called Shaheen II, has a range of 2,000 kilometers, can carry a nuclear warhead, and hit any part of India. At least a dozen of these missiles are being built, andmoved around on mobile transporter/launchers. The Hatf VI will be a major part of Pakistan’s nuclear deterrent against Indian invasion
… a 700-2,500km-range missile dubbed as the Shaheen-II, about which little is known. Mock-ups of the missile displayed during the National Day celebrations in March 2003 suggest that it is a two-stage, solid-motor, road mobile system, transported on a 12-wheel TEL vehicle. Analysts speculate that the Shaheen-II is possibly a two-stage version of the M-9, or more likely a copy of the M-18, which was publicly displayed at an exhibition in Beijing in either 1987 or 1988. The M-18 was originally advertised as a two-stage system with a payload capacity of 400-500kg over a range of 1,000km. U.S. intelligence sources suggest that Pakistan remains heavily reliant on external assistance for the Shaheen-II program and that China is actively assisting Pakistan through the supply of missile components, specialty materials, dual-use items, and other miscellaneous forms of technical assistance..
Development flight tests of the Shaheen-II began in March 2004 when a 26-ton missile was launched from Pakistan’s Somiani Flight Test Range on the Arabian Sea. According to the Chairman of Pakistan’s National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM) Dr. Samar Mubarakmand, the missile covered a distance of 1,800km during the test. . The missile was tested in March 2005, April 2006, and February 2007. Subsequently, reports in summer 2007 stated that Pakistan had begun the process of deployment of the Shaheen-II.
The missile’s basic airframe is made from steel, although some sections may be crafted out of aluminum. The propulsion system is a liquid rocket engine that uses a storable combination of inhibited red fuming nitric acid and kerosene. During the boost phase, four jet vanes are used for thrust vector control. It is also believed that the missile uses three body-mounted gyros for attitude and lateral acceleration control. In addition, “a pendulum integration gyro assembly serves for speed control.” The Nodong’s range and throw weight has been variously estimated between 800-1,500km and 700-1,300kg, respectively.
BABAR HATF-7, Ra’ad (Hatf VII).CRUISE MISSILES: Pakistan schocked India and the world when it tested a stealth cruise missile in 2005. Babar Hatf-7. The Babar cruise missile can carry nuclear or conventional warheads. The 1.5-tonne, 22-foot long missile is capable of carrying a 250-kg warhead. It is believed Pakistan is working on developing a nuclear warhead that would fit into it. Since 2005, Islamabad has also carried out several tests of its Babur (Hatf VII) cruise missile, two such tests coming in March and June 2007.
05:19 GMT, May 11, 2009 As the country’s News Agency reported at the end of last week, on Wednesday Pakistan conducted a successful test-firing of its latest domestically manufactured cruise missile, known as Babur (or Babar, Hatf VII), exactly at the time President Asif Zardari was in Washington and due to meet US President Barack Obama.
The Hatf-VIII Ra’ad Cruise missile: Pakistan successfully tested a nuclear-capable, air-launched cruise missile with a range of 350 km on Thursday. This cruise missile has been developed exclusively for launch from aircraft. The indigenously developed missile also had special stealth capabilities and could deliver all types of warheads with great accuracy. This cruise missile was tested on May 8, 2008
This subsonic nuclear capable missile, has a range of 700 km. In addition, in August 2007, Pakistan tested a new cruise missile, the Ra’ad (Arabic for “Thunder”). This missile, which is air-launched, has a range of 350 kilometers. Thus, along with ballistic missiles, cruise missiles are increasingly part of Pakistan’s nuclear calculus.  Source:  “Pakistan Military Test-Fires Nuclear Capable Cruise Missile,” International Herald Tribune, August 25, 2007, http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/08/25/asia/AS-GEN-Pakistan-Missile-Test.php.%5B50%5D See “Nuclear Cruise Missiles,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, November/December 2007, pp. 62-63,
IN DEVELOPMENT/PRODUCTION:ICBMS AND SLV Taimur:In the future, an even longer-ranged missile is likely, according to the Rumsfeld Commission. Analysts have estimated that Pakistani misisletechnology has grown beyond the basic stages and is capable of Intercontinental reach. Pakistan is working on the Taimur Sat. Luanch vehicle which has been kept under close wraps. The space and the ICBM program is closely linked.
Technology to cover range of 7,000 Kms, Pakistan, to increase its defensive capabilities, has started preparing intercontinental missile with a range of 7000 kilometres.
According to sources, the intercontinental missile has a range of 7000 kilometres and is capable of hitting its target falling within its range. The missile can contain nuclear as well as traditional warheads. The missile has been termed a significant milestone for the defence of the country and is believed to strengthen the defence. According to sources, the missile would soon be test fired.
PAF to get airborne refullers next year: Pakistan Air Force plans to induct four Chinese airborne refullers next year, in a move to counter the Indian Air Forces’ enhanced capabilities after New Delhi acquired six similar aircraft, an Indian news agency quoted the PAF chief as saying.
Air Chief Marshal Qamar Suleman underlined that the airborne refullers were necessary to match the IAF capabilities.
“This is an absolutely new capability which we are inducting. We never had this capability in the PAF,” Suleman added, maintaining, in order to match the IAF’s acquisition of the first of three Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS), the PAF would receive four Chinese systems between 2011 and 2012.
He also termed as “alarming” the IAF’s intention of purchasing 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft, saying Pakistan needed “to have something matching.
The Pakistan-India defence forces’ one-upmanship continues with the Pakistani Air Force (PAF) announcing it would induct four airborne refuellers based on the Il-78 platform by next year – six years after India acquired six similar aircraft.
Terming midair refuelling capability ‘extremely significant’, PAF chief Air Chief Marshal Qamar Suleman told Jane’s Defence Weekly: ‘This is an absolutely new capability we are getting, which we are inducting. We never had this capability in the Pakistan Air Force.’
And, to match the Indian Air Force’s acquisition of the first of three airborne warning and control systems (AWACS), PAF chief Air Chief Marshal Qamar Suleman told Jane’s Defence Weekly that his force would receive four Chinese systems between 2011 and 2012.
Suleman also termed as ‘alarming’ the IAF’s intention of purchasing 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA), saying Pakistan needed ‘to have something matching’.
‘We knew about this requirement of the Indian Air Force for 126 latest-generation fighter aircraft. Yes, it is an alarming development because when they get 126 such capable aircraft, then we also need to have something matching to counter that threat,’ the air chief maintained.
The IAF is set to begin field trials later this year of the six combat jets that are in contention for its order, which might even go up to 200 to counter depleting force levels.
The first of the fighters are likely to be inducted in 2012.
Referring to the induction of the JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft co-produced with China, Suleman said the PAF plans to eventually induct up to 250 planes, making it the backbone of its inventory.
However, there was still a requirement for a more advanced fighter aircraft, as the PAF prepares to counter the future edge the IAF may acquire once it completes the planned purchase of 126 MMRCAs, the air chief maintained
Pakistan kicked off serial production of the multiple jet fighter JF-17 Thunder in collaboration with the People’s Republic of China.
Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar inaugurated the project at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Kamra. In his address the Air Chief said, “The first squadron of the JF-17- Thunder will be inducted into the PAF [Pakistan Air Force] by the end of this year.”
The JF-17 is a lightweight, all-weather, multi-role combat jet aircraft. It is jointly developed by Pakistan and China. The Pakistan Air Force has so far received eight JF-17 jets that are being used for testing and evaluation. During the first phase Pakistan will get frames from China and update the aircraft with latest technology from Italy and Sweden.
Pakistan has invested US $600 million in this project to induct a new generation of multiple-role jet fighters in the PAF’s inventory. So far, the French built Mirage E-3 and E -5 remain the mainstay of the PAF, while General Dynamics/Chrysler F-16s (Flying Falcons) are also used.
Pakistan received the F-16s from the United States during the mid-80s, and the F-16 is now manufactured by the Lockheed Martin Corporation. Pakistan and China had initially agreed on joint production of the JF-17 Thunder last March. Under the agreement, China will provide credit financing for manufacturing the jets.
Pakistan’s different defense production facilities like Heavy Industries Taxila, Pakistan Ordnance Factories, and the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex have forged closer cooperation with China’s NORINCO and other sea weapons manufacturing factories.
During the first phase Pakistan will role out 42 jets. These jets will be equipped with capabilities like forward-looking infrared (FLIR) and radar homing beyond visual range (BVR) capabilities. The JF-17 Thunder is likely to be also equipped with Pakistan-Italian Griffo airborn radar, which Pakistan is manufacturing under franchise from Italy’s FIAR.
**PKKH Update**: With initial delivery of 42 jets, 10 to 15 aircrafts per year will be delivered to PAF subsequently giving Pakistan an unconditional edge over her enemies – insha Allah.