Karachi, Pakistan, 11 Rabiul akhir 1438/10 January 2017 (MINA) – Pakistan Monday said it had “successfully” test-fired its first submarine-launched cruise missile, the Babur-3, with a range of 450 kilometers, Anadolu Agency reported, citing a statement of an army spokesman.
The test – Pakistan’s first in 2017 – was conducted Saturday at an undisclosed location in the Indian Ocean.
“The missile was fired from an underwater mobile platform and hit its target with precise accuracy,” the spokesman said.
The Babur-3 is a sea-based variant of Ground-Launched Cruise Missile (GLCM) the Babur-2, which was successfully tested in December.
The latest in a string of missile tests in recent months, the test was conducted a day after Pakistan accused India of interference and carrying out terrorism in its territory in a file handed over to the UN on Friday in yet another sign of worsening ties between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.
The test was witnessed by the Gen. Zubair Mahmood Hayat, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), and other senior military officials.
“Pakistan eyes this hallmark development as a step towards reinforcing its policy of credible minimum deterrence,” the statement added.
President Mamnoon Hussein and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif hailed the successful test firing.
Tensions between the two nuclear rivals have risen since India accused Pakistan of having links to gunmen who killed 19 soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir in September 2016.
Pakistan has denied the charge, accusing India of repressing pro-independence protests that started in the disputed Himalayan region in July 2016 when more than 100 Kashmiri civilians were killed allegedly by Indian forces and thousands of others were injured.
The two countries, locked in a perpetual arms race, have fought three wars – in 1948, 1965 and 1971 – since they were partitioned in 1947, two of which were fought over disputed Kashmir valley.
Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China. (T/RS05/RS01)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)