The Pakistan Army has performed a training launch of Ghaznavi nuclear-capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile from an undisclosed location. Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of the Pakistan Armed Forces, stated that the launch re-validated the weapon system’s technical parameters. The test-fire was also aimed at ensuring the operational readiness of Army Strategic Forces Command. Pakistan Army Strategic Forces Command commander appreciated the standard of training, weapon system handling and the military troops’ ability to execute the launch mission in the field. The event witnessed the presence of key defence officials from Pakistan.
The Ghaznavi (Hatf–III Ghaznavi), is a Hypersonic surface to surface short range ballistic missile designed and developed by the Pakistan’s National Development Complex, with the first version in service with the Pakistan Army’s strategic command since 2004. The Hatf-III is a “Scud” type ballistic missile. With an optimal range of 290 km, it is named after the 11th century Muslim Turkic conqueror Mahmud of Ghazni. The word Hatf means deadly or vengeance in Arabic. It entered service with the Pakistan Army in 2012 after a successful launch conducted by ASFC (Army Strategic Command Force) on May 10, 2012.
The missile has a length of 9.64m, diameter of 0.99 m, launch weight of 5256 kg and is powered by a single stage solid fuel rocket motor. It was the second nuclear-capable missile test-fired by the Pakistan army in less than two weeks, since India’s launch of Agni-V. It is believed influenced from a Chinese design, the M-11 (NATO reporting name: CSS-7). The M-11 or Dong-Feng 11 is a short-range ballistic missile developed by the People’s Republic of China. The range of the M-11 does not violate the limits set by the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
The Ghaznavi was pursued alongside the Abdali program, and its features are extremely close to those of the Chinese M-11.