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Pak plans more missile tests

Islamabad, Oct. 15: Fresh from the success of its latest missile tests, Pakistan today announced it would test new versions of its long-range Hatf missiles in the near future.

“These missiles will be tested as and when we need to validate certain technical parameters,” a Pakistan army spokesperson said. However, he refused to reveal the exact timing of the new tests.

Earlier this month, Pakistan successfully tested the indigenously developed, medium-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile Hatf-IV. The missile is also called the Shaheen-1 and the Ghaznavi. The missiles, which are capable of carrying all types of warheads, have a range of 700 km and 290 km respectively.

“These tests are a reflection of Pakistan’s technical prowess in the field of missile technology and its resolve to continue to consolidate its minimum deterrence needs and national security,” the spokesperson said.

On the test list are intermediate ballistic missiles (IBMs), Ghauri-II and Shaheen-II, of the Hatf series.

They have a range of 1,750 km and 2,000 km respectively. They said the National Development Complex is already working on the project as part of a continuous process, aimed at further improving design parameters and overall performance of the system.

“Recent missile tests were not aimed at either accelerating the arms race or becoming a party to it,” Pakistan’s chief military spokesman Major General Shaukat Sultan said in an interview.

He, however, expressed concern over India’s continued acquisition of Awacs and other early warning radar systems, saying it has posed threats to Pakistan’s security. “We will continue upgrading and modernising our missile programme,” Sultan said. Newspaper reports claimed that Pakistan has already developed the Shaheen-III and Ghauri-III missiles which have a range of 3600 km and 2400 km respectively.

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