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Babur Hatf-VII Cruise Missile
Thursday, 12 October 2006
On August 12, 2005, Pakistan successfully tested its first nuclear-capable cruise missile named Babur, named after the Mughal Emperor Babur. The cruise missile has a range of 500KM (310 miles) compare to 280KM Brahmos jointly developed by Moscow and New Delhi.
“This successful test-fire of 500 km range nape of the earth missile will further improve the existing military balance in the region,” President General Pervez Musharraf said in response to a question about the recent developments vis a vis acquisition of advanced weapons system in the neighbourhood.
With the capability of designing and developing Babur cruise missile Pakistan has joined an exclusive group of ten countries that operate cruise missiles, and an even more exclusive group of countries that can develop and manufacture them.
Pakistan’s scientist Samar Mubarak Mund, who heads the National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM), led the Babur programme.
The Babur is described as a subsonic, low-level terrain hugging missile, which has the most advanced and modern navigation and guidance system and a high degree of maneuverability. The technology enables the missile to avoid radar detection and penetrate undetected through any hostile defensive system. It has been reported that the cruise missile can be launced from surface ships, submarines, and aircrafts. The ground launched Hatf-VII Babur cruise missile (GLCM) is not only comparative with modern missile systems of the world, but also superior to these. It is a highly effective and trustworthy weapon due to its extraordinary characteristics.
Babur cruise missile is launched vertically with the solid booster motor. Immediately after the launch its guidance and control system takes over. The missile gains speed and after a few seconds its rocket booster motor is separated.
Then, the missile automatically opens its wing as a jet plane, and moves towards its target speedily and accurately. Later, the missile culminates its mission from a specific height from land. Due to this it remains undetected and saved from radar system of the enemy. The missile crosses all hurdles on its way due to computerized programming and moves towards the target, protecting itself from anti-aircraft line of the enemy. Special cameras installed in the missile, control and manage its height by minutely monitoring ups and downs of land. After recognizing the target the missile hits its target instantly. Babur cruise missile has the capacity to carry nuclear and conventional warheads to a range of 500 kilometers with pinpoint accuracy.
According to Janes Defence Weekly (JDW), Babur appears to share several basic similarities with the US BGM-109 Tomahawk land attack cruise missile, with the two being roughly the same size and shape and having a similar wing and engine intake design. According to the magazine, the project began around 1998 and was bolstered by lessons learned from Tomahawk missiles recovered in Pakistan. These US Tomahawks had failed to reach intended targets in an August 1998 strike on Afghanistan. Pakistani officials at the time acknowledged that they had recovered at least two missiles.
Babur has been inducted into the military arsenal, and will enter serial production by Octorber 2005.
Officials have announced, Pakistan is already working on a second, more advanced cruise missile, with a range of 1,000km.
Primary Function: medium-range subsonic cruise missile for striking high value or heavily defended land targets.
Power Plant: Unknown
Length: 7 metres
Wing Span: 6.75 metres
Range: 500 km
Speed: Subsonic - around 550 mph (880 km/h)
Guidance System: Unknown
Warheads: Conventional or nuclear
Date Tested: August 2005