Nuclear missile Current Affairs

Pakistan conducts first flight test of Ababeel missile with MIRV technology

Pakistan successfully conducted the first flight test of Ababeel surface-to-surface medium range ballistic missile. The test flight was aimed at validating various design and technical parameters of missile’s weapon system.

It is claimed that Ababeel missile has the capability to carry nuclear as well as conventional warheads and engage multiple targets with high precision by defeating the enemy’s hostile radars.

Key Facts
  • Ababeel missile is capable of delivering multiple warheads, using Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology, first of its kind in Pakistan’s missile arsenal. It has a maximum range of 2,200 kilometres.
  • The development of Ababeel Weapon System aims at ensuring survivability of Pakistan’s ballistic missiles in growing regional Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) environment in reference to the India’s Prithvi and Ashwin BMD systems. It also seeks to further reinforce Pakistan’s deterrence.
Comment
  • With this successful test, Pakistan became seventh country to join the elite club of nuclear countries that have MIRV capabilities.
  • Other countries having MIRV capabilities are United Kingdom, France, Russia, the United States, China and India. India and China had achieved this capability over the past couple of years.
  • The test comes after Pakistan successfully tested its first submarine-based nuclear-capable missile Babur-3 recently on January 9, 2017 from an underwater, mobile platform somewhere in the Indian Ocean.
  • The Babur weapons system incorporates advanced aerodynamics and avionics that can strike targets both at land and sea at a range of 700 km with high accuracy.

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Pakistan test-fires first nuclear-capable submarine cruise missile Babur-3

Pakistan successfully test-fired its first Submarine-Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM) Babur-3 capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. This launch gives Pakistan a “credible” second-strike capability.

The Babur-3 missile was fired from an underwater mobile platform from an undisclosed location in the Indian Ocean and hit its target with precise accuracy.

Key facts
  • SLCM Babur-3 is a sea-based variant of Ground Launched Cruise Missile (GLCM) Babur-2. It has been named after the first Mughal Emperor Zahir-ud-Din Babur. It has a range of 450km.
  • It incorporates state-of-the-art technologies including underwater controlled propulsion and advanced guidance and navigation features, augmented by Global Navigation, Terrain and Scene Matching Systems.
  • It features terrain hugging and sea skimming flight capabilities to evade hostile radars and air defences. It also has certain stealth technologies, in an emerging regional Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) environment.
  • Babur-3 SLCM in land-attack mode, is capable of delivering various types of payloads including conventional as well as nuclear warheads. 

Note: India for the first time had successfully test-fired a nuclear-capable, submarine-launched missile in 2008 and tested a submarine-launched cruise missile in 2013.

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