Pakistan Successfully Test-fires Shaheen-III Medium Range Ballistic Missile
Pakistan Successfully Test-fires Shaheen-III Medium Range Ballistic Missile. Credit: Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

Pakistan Successfully Test-fires Shaheen-III Medium Range Ballistic Missile

The Pakistani military media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that the Pakistan Armed Forces has test-fired a medium-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile with a strike range of up to 2,750km. Test flight of the Shaheen-III (White Falcon-III) missile was intended to re-validate the weapon system’s several design and technical parameters. With the successful launch of the Shaheen’, it surpasses the range of Shaheen-II— hence it is the longest-range missile to be launched by the military. A statement from the ISPR said that the test’s impact point was in the Arabian Sea. Earlier this month, the country also flight tested a guided multi-launch rocket system (GMLRS), Fatah-1.

The Shaheen-III is a Pakistani land-based surface-to-surface medium range ballistic missile, which was test fired for the first time by military service on 9 March 2015. Development began in secrecy in the early 2000s in response to India’s Agni-III, Shaheen was successfully tested on 9 March 2015 with 2750 km (1700 mi) range, which could enable it to reach all corners of India and reach deep into the Middle East parts of North AfricaThe missile is designed to reach Indian islands so that India cannot use them as “strategic bases” to establish a “second strike capability.” The range of the Shaheen-III is sufficient to target all of mainland India from launch positions in most of Pakistan to the south of Islamabad.

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Pakistan Successfully Test-fires Shaheen-III Medium Range Ballistic Missile
Pakistan Successfully Test-fires Shaheen-III Medium Range Ballistic Missile

The Shaheen-III was shrouded in top secrecy and very little information was available to the public, mostly provided in 2002 IDEAS. Majority of the efforts and funding was being made available to Ghauri-III to seek strike in Eastern region of India. In May 2000, the Ghauri-III was cancelled due to its less advance and lack of technological gain. the program Ghauri-III was terminated by then-President Pervez Musharraf who made the funding available for Shaheen-III program which was to be led under Samar Mubarakmand. The Air Force, however, pressed for Shaheen-III to make it feasible as liquids were being developed that would allow the missiles to be left in a ready-to-shoot form for extended period.

The Shaheen-III was initially purposed as the space booster for the space program to make it possible for installing the satellite payload applications. Despite its efforts, the existence of Shaheen-III continued to be speculated in news media as Pakistan Ministry of Defence and the Joint Staff HQ nor confirms or deny the existence of the program. In a press conference held in Lahore in 2009, Samar Mubarakmand stated that: “Pakistan would launch its own satellite in April 2011. The rumors and speculations yet to be continued for the existence of the program. It uses WS51200 transporter erector launcher TEL manufactured in China by Wanshan Special Vehicle.

Pakistan Successfully Test-fires Shaheen-III Medium Range Ballistic Missile
Pakistan Successfully Test-fires Shaheen-III Medium Range Ballistic Missile
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