Daily Briefs

Photo : Dawn

25 January 2020, Saturday

Pakistan successfully tests Ghaznavi 

PR Daily Brief | Lakshmi V Menon

On 23 January 2020, Pakistan army's media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) announced the successful training launch of Ghaznavi (Hatf 3), a road-mobile, the solid-fueled, nuclear-capable surface to surface short-range ballistic missile with capacity to strike up to a range of 290 kilometers. 

ISPR stated that "The training launch was part of Field Training Exercise of Army Strategic Forces Command aimed at rehearsing operational readiness procedures during day and night." As per the statement, the Director-General Strategic Plans Division credited the Army Strategic Forces Command’s operational preparedness for showcasing proficiency in the weapon system’s handling, also expressing complete confidence in the Strategic Command and Control System Strategic Forces’ capabilities.

Dr Nabeel Hayat Malik, Chairman NESCOM, Lt. General Qazi Muhammad Ikram Ahmad, Commander ASFC, Lt. General Nadeem Zaki Manj, Director General Strategic Plans Division (SPD), senior officials from ASFC and SPD, engineers and scientists of strategic establishments witnessed the launch at an undisclosed location. ISPR concluded that Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Arif Alvi “congratulated the nation on this landmark achievement”.

Hatf 3 is 8.5m in length, 0.8 m in diameter, offers a payload of a single warhead weighing 700 kilograms, has a launch weight of 4650 kilograms and is powered by a single-stage solid fuel propellent. The warhead can be high explosive (HE), conventional, submunitions or nuclear 12 to 20 kT. According to reports, Ghaznavi’s inertial guidance system ensures 250m CEP accuracy that could be increased to 50m CEP with territorial guidance.

Ghaznavi’s development officially commenced in 1987 but got terminated in 1994 owing to the purchase of PRC DF-11 missiles. Development resumed in 1997 to expand the limited DF-11 missiles in Pakistan’s arsenal, or to mask future procurements as domestic production (as alleged). Hatf 3, designed and developed by National Development Complex, is similar to the Chinese DF-11 variants – an improved ‘Scud’ type BM with military utility in deployment against stationary, large targets like military bases, airfields; threatening urban civilian areas. With 30-50 units in service, the production was terminated in April 2007.

In May 2002, the SRBM named after the 11th-century Afghan king Mahmud Ghazni was first flight-tested and has been in Pakistan Army Strategic command’s service since 2004. Subsequent tests of Ghaznavi occurred in December 2006, February 2008, May 2010, May 2012 and August 2019. 

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