|Arthur Dominic Villasanta |||Jan 11, 2017 07:01 PM EST|
(Photo : Pakistan Navy) Babur-3 test flight.
Pakistan proudly announced the completion of its nuclear triad with a successful first test on Jan. 9 of the submarine launched Babur-3 nuclear cruise missile from an Agosta 90B diesel electric submarine prowling the Indian Ocean.
Indian media, however, belittled the test, alleging it never took place. The Indian government has yet to officially comment on the launch.
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The Pakistan Armed Forces said Babur-3 used "underwater controlled propulsion and advanced guidance and navigation" and had a range of 450 kilometers.
Enhancements to the Babur-3 used in this underwater launch included upgraded aerodynamics and avionics that allow the missile to accurately hit targets without the aid of GPS, and also target sea-based and land-based targets.
"Pakistan eyes this hallmark development as a step towards reinforcing the policy of credible minimum deterrence," said the armed forces in a statement. The armed forces said Babur-3 was "capable of delivering various types of payloads and will provide Pakistan with a credible second strike capability, augmenting deterrence."
It described the test as "a manifestation of the strategy of measured response to nuclear strategies and postures being adopted in Pakistan's neighborhood."
That Babur-3 looks quite like the United States' BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missile isn't a surprise since Pakistan is known to have reverse engineered Tomahawks that crashed into its territory en route to striking Islamist terrorist targets inside Pakistan or Afghanistan.
Later versions of Babur-3 will have a range in excess of 1,000 kilometers.
Babur-2, the land-based version on which Babur-3 is based, is launched from mobile transporter erector launchers (TELs) and can be armed with either conventional or nuclear warheads. Babur-2 has a range of 700 km.
Babur is the first land attack cruise missile and the first submarine-launched cruise missile to be developed, manufactured and made operational by Pakistan.
Indian media is, however, adamant in calling the Babur-3 test a fake.
The Times of India featured posts from a Twitter user who identified himself as "Rajfortyseven" and claimed to be a Mumbai-based satellite imagery expert.
Rajfortyseven posted alleged proof the video of the Babur-3 launch released by Pakistan used digital manipulation to depict the launch. Similar allegations were reported in India Today and NDTV, which cited Indian navy sources.
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