Pakistan army announces successful test fire of Shaheen-III ballistic missile
Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Pakistani army’s media arm, announced on Twitter on April 9 that the Shaheen-III surface-to-surface ballistic missile had completed a successful flight test, Yusuf Çetiner reports in Overt Defence. The test’s details and video footage were published by ISPR. The purpose of the test, according to the tweet, was to reaffirm the missile system’s design and technical parameters. Lieutenant General Nadeem Zaki Manj, Director General of the Strategic Plans Division, praised the scientists and engineers and expressed his full confidence in Pakistan’s nuclear deterrence capability.
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The Shaheen-III is capable of carrying nuclear and conventional warheads with a range of 2,750 kilometers (Picture source: PakStrategic.com)
The Shaheen III missile, developed by the Space & Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) and NESCOM, is an advanced variant of the Shaheen-II missile, which was first tested on March 9, 2004, Yusuf Çetiner recalls. The Shaheen-III missile is a two-stage solid-fuel medium-range ballistic missile developed by Pakistan.
The Shaheen-III is a land-based surface-to-surface medium-range ballistic missile, which was test-fired for the first time on 9 March 2015. Development began in secrecy in the early 2000s in response to India's Agni-III, Shaheen was successfully tested on 9 March 2015 with a range of 2750 km (1700 mi), which enables it to strike all of India and reach deep into the Middle East parts of North Africa. The missile, according to a former Director General of Pakistan's Strategic Plans Division, is designed to reach Indian islands so that India cannot use them as “strategic bases” to establish a “second-strike capability”.
The Shaheen program is composed of the solid-fuel system in contrast to the Ghauri program which is primarily based on a liquid-fuel system. With the successful launch of the Shaheen-III, it surpasses the range of Shaheen-II— hence, it is the longest-range missile to be launched by the military.
The Shaheen-III has a range of 2,750 km and can carry both nuclear and conventional warheads. This range makes it the longest-range missile in Pakistan’s strategic arsenal. The Shaheen III missile was first tested in 2015, following a development program that began in the early 2000s in response to India’s Agni-III missile. The missile, which was first displayed during a military parade in March 2016, has a length of 19 meters and a diameter of 1.4 meters.
The last test of the Shaheen-III missile was carried out in early 2021. Since then, the Pakistani army has conducted successful tests of the Ghaznavi (Hatf III) missile with a range of 290-300 kilometers, the Shaheen 1A missile with a range of 900 kilometers, the Ghauri (Hatf-V) missile with a range of 1300 kilometers, the Fatah-1 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (G-MLRS) and the Babur Cruise Missile, Yusuf Çetiner recalls.