Pakistan test fires nuclear-capable cruise missile

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Pakistan successfully test fired a new cruise missile on Saturday that is capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

The announcement was made by the nation's military in a statement, saying that the air-launched Ra'ad (meaning 'thunder' in Arabic) missile has been successfully tested. The missile is constructed using materials and designs specifically developed for stealth and has a range of 350 kilometres, they said.

The missile was developed exclusively in Pakistan, and, according to the statement, has been built specifically with Pakistan's existing air force platforms in mind, in order to give these 'a strategic stand-off capability on land and at sea,'. The statement also said that the missile's accuracy was comparable to Pakistan's long-range Babur missile, and that the missile is capable of carrying "all types of warheads".

Both the Pakistani prime minister, Shaukat Aziz and the president, Pervez Musharraf, congratulated the team of scientists and engineers who developed the new technology. "Pakistan's defense will continue to be strengthened as an imperative of national security, they said, and assured all support to Pakistan's strategic program," according to the army.