Pakistan Test-Fires Shore-Based ‘Long-Range’ Anti-Ship Missile
(Source: Pakistan Navy via ISPR; issued March 16, 2017)
RAWALPINDI --- Pakistan Navy conducted successful test launch of Land based anti-ship missile today. The missile has advanced technology and avionics, which enable engagement of targets at sea with high accuracy.
The trial was conducted from coastal region and missile secured hit on the target placed at Sea.
The event was witnessed by Vice Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Khan Hasham Bin Saddique. Senior officers of Pakistan Navy were also present on the occasion. Vice Chief of the Naval Staff commended the successful accomplishment of the objectives of this trial and lauded the hard work and efforts of all those who were involved, especially the crew of the missile unit.
Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah, in his message felicitated the officers and crew and said that this weapon system has added a new dimension in the operational reach of the Pakistan Navy as PN would be able to further bolster seaward defense of the nation by having the capability of launching long range anti-ship missiles from land.
Related Notes & Comments
(Source: Qura; posted Mar 16, 2017)
By Bilal Khan
The make, type, range and guidance configuration of the AShM were not disclosed. Pakistan operates China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC) C-802A, Boeing Harpoon Block-II, and MBDA Exocet AShM from its range of surface, sub-surface and aerial platforms.
In April 2016, Pakistan also tested a shore-based AShM by the name of “Zarb”, which was speculated to have been the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) C-602. However, officials told Defense News that Pakistan could be developing an indigenous AShM. The Babur-2, which was tested in December 2016, was also described as being capable of engaging “targets … at sea.”
In general terms, an AShM is a turbojet (and alternatively, turbofan)-powered munition that has an inertial navigation system (INS), which can be guided to the target by radar through data-link. Once in the vicinity of the target, a terminal-stage imaging infrared (IIR) or active radar-homing (ARH) seeker activates to strike the target.
With some of these technologies already employed to produce Pakistan’s Babur and Ra’ad-series of land-attack cruise missiles, the notion of scaling them for AShM is plausible. Granted, active-homing seekers (which are essential for engaging moving targets) are complex technology areas. In fact, ARH-seekers would be challenging to develop under the pressures of modern electronic warfare (EW) systems, which threaten to jam such missiles. For Pakistan, collaboration with external parties such as China will be critical to its success in these areas.
Shore-based AShMs are a component of Pakistan’s anti-access and area-denial (A2/AD) strategy, which is designed to prevent enemy incursion into its littoral waters and to protect the country’s coastal economic and defence assets, such as shipping ports and shipyards.
While a Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)-compliant missile capped to 300 km in range would provide ample littoral defensibility, an anti-ship variant of the Babur-2 – i.e. with its 750-km range – would cover a significant portion of Pakistan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).