Pakistan claims ‘successful test’ of N-capable ‘Ababeel’ missile
Pakistan today claimed to have successfully conducted the first test flight of the radar-evading ‘Ababeel’ surface-to-surface ballistic missile (SSM) capable of delivering multiple warheads up to 2,200 kms, bringing many Indian cities within its range.
“Ababeel is capable of carrying nuclear warheads and has the capability to engage multiple targets with high precision, defeating the enemy’s hostile radars,” a statement by the Pakistan Army said.
“The missile is capable of delivering multiple warheads, using Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology. The test flight was aimed at validating various design and technical parameters of the weapon system,” Army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said in a statement.
“The test flight was aimed at validating various design and technical parameters of the weapon system,” he said on the missile which has a maximum range of 2,200 kilometres.
Ababeel is capable of carrying nuclear warheads and has the capability to engage multiple targets with high precision, defeating hostile radars, the ISPR said.
“Development of Ababeel Weapon System is aimed at ensuring survivability of Pakistan’s ballistic missiles in the growing regional Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) environment. This will further reinforce deterrence,” the release said, in an obvious reference to India.
Army chief General Qamar Bajwa, President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif congratulated the country the country after the test flight.
They described the missile test as an important move to maintain balance of power in the region.
The Ababeel missile test came close on the heels of the test of submarine-launched cruise missile Babur-III on December 9, a claim challenged by experts.
“The successful attainment of a second strike capability by Pakistan represents a major scientific milestone; it is manifestation of the strategy of measured response to nuclear strategies and postures being adopted in Pakistan’s neighborhood,” the military had said after the Babur-III test.
The missile, launched from an undisclosed location in the Indian Ocean from an underwater, mobile platform, had hit its target with precise accuracy, the Army had said.
However, top Indian Navy sources and independent experts suggested that that the launch may have been faked.