Tested four times, this is a ground-hugging, precision missile with stealth capabilities that can hit warships and carry 300 kiloton nuclear warhead.
Pakistan today test fired its Air-launched Cruise Missile (ALCM), the Hatf VIII (Ra’ad).
This is the fourth successful test of the missile by the Pakistani Armed Forces. According to the Pakistani Armed Forces officials, the missile is capable of delivering both the nuclear and conventional high-explosive warheads.
The maximum effective operational range is estimated at 220 miles.
This is the third successful test of a nuclear capable missile by the Pakistani Armed Forces within the last 30 days.
Earlier, they had tested the Battlefield Range Ballistic Missile (BRBM) Nasr (Hatf-IX) this week and the Short Range Ballistic Missile (SRBM), the Hatf-III (Ghaznavi) on May 10th.
The Ra’ad is one of the four types of Land Attack Cruise Missiles currently operated by the Pakistani Armed Forces. Pakistan had inducted the Hatf VII (Babur), another land attack cruise missile on August 2005. They are also operating a number of the French-developed AS-30L and the American AGM-65 Maverick missiles.
The Ra’ad missile is equipped with stealth capabilities, which enables it to evade detection by enemy radars.
The missile is fully indigenously-developed without any foreign technical assistance.
It was jointly developed by the National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM) and the Air Weapons Complex (AWC), after the successful launch of another Pakistani cruise missile, the Hatf VII.
[Editor’s Note: This is how the ISPR, media arm of Pakistan Armed Forces, provided the following technical details:
The missile “enables Pakistan to achieve strategic standoff capability on land and at Sea. ‘Cruise Technology’ is extremely complex and has been developed by only a few countries in the world. The state of the art Ra’ad Cruise Missile with Stealth Capabilities is a Low Altitude, Terrain Hugging Missile with high maneuverability, and can deliver nuclear and conventional warheads with pin point accuracy.
“A major additional feature of today’s test was the effective employment of the National Command Authority’s fully automated Strategic Command and Control Support System (SCCSS). It has enabled robust Command and Control capability of all strategic assets with round the clock situational awareness in a digitized network centric environment to decision makers at National Command Centre (NCC). The system has the added capability of real time remote monitoring of missile flight path.”]
According to defense experts, the missile is one of the most accurate cruise missiles ever developed by any Asian nation.
Ra’ad, which can be used for precision strikes on enemy strategic facilities such as radars, SAM batteries, and warships, can carry a nuclear warhead of up to 300 kiloton.
The missile was first tested on 25 August, 2007. Another successful test was carried out the following year, and the third test was carried out on April last year. The tests were carried out from the Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) Dassault Mirage III ROSE fighter aircrafts.
Taking from PakNationalists