pakistan Ghaznavi missile
Pakistan successfully test-fires surface-to-surface ballistic missile Ghaznavi on August 12, 2021. Image Credit: Screenshot from ISPR video

Islamabad: Pakistan successfully conducted the test launch of surface-to-surface ballistic missile Ghaznavi (Hatf III) on Thursday, the military said.

The successful test launch of the Ghaznavi missile was “aimed at ensuring the operational readiness of Army Strategic Forces Command, besides re-validating technical parameters of the weapon system” the ISPR statement said.

The training launch was witnessed by Commander Army Strategic Forces Command Lt Gen Muhammad Ali, senior officers from Strategic Plans Division (SPD), Army Strategic Forces Command, scientists and engineers of the strategic organisations.

Lt Gen Ali appreciated the excellent standard of training, handling of the weapons system and execution of launch mission in the field by troops. President Dr Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and the tri-services chiefs congratulated the team of officers, the scientists and engineers on the successful launch.

The test launch validates Pakistan’s defensive deterrence options, experts said.

The indigenously developed Ghaznavi (Hatf III) is a short-range ballistic missile. It can carry several types of warheads to a range of up to 300 kilometres. Pakistan conducted its first test of the Ghaznavi missile in May 2002.

The solid-fuelled missile entered service in 2004. Subsequent flight tests took place in October 2003, November 2004, June and December of 2006, February 2008, May 2010, May 2012, April and May 2014, August 2019. It was last tested in January 2020.

The Shaheen 2 (Hatf VI), medium-range ballistic missile, with an estimated range of 1,500 – 2,000 km and the Ghauri (Hatf V) which has a range of up to 1,500 km, have also entered operational service.

In January 2021, Pakistan conducted another test of Shaheen 3 medium-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile with a strike range of up to 2,750km, making it the country’s longest-range missile.

Since 1998, Pakistan has developed a strong deterrence capability which remains critical to the country’s national security.