Pakistan has conducted another test-firing of its Babur-3 nuclear-capable, submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM), according to a 29 March statement by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of the Pakistani military.
The locally built SLCM was fired to a range of 450 km from an underwater, mobile platform at an undisclosed location, and “successfully engaged its target with precise accuracy, meeting all the flight parameters,” said ISPR, adding that “Pakistan eyes this landmark development as a step towards reinforcing [a] policy of credible minimum deterrence through indigenisation and self-reliance”.
The Babur-3 is a sea-based variant of the Babur-2 ground-launched cruise missile, which was successfully tested in December 2016, according to ISPR. The first known test-firing of the SLCM was announced on 9 January 2017.
“SLCM Babur is capable of delivering various types of payloads and incorporates state-of-the-art technologies, including underwater controlled propulsion and advanced guidance and navigation features,” said ISPR.
The missile reportedly features terrain-hugging and sea-skimming flight capabilities to evade hostile radars and air defences, in addition to stealth technologies.
According to ISPR, the missile provides Pakistan with a “credible second strike capability”, augmenting the existing deterrence regime.
“Development of this capability also reflects Pakistan’s response to provocative nuclear strategies and posture being pursued in the neighbourhood through induction of nuclear submarines and ship-borne nuclear missiles,” said ISPR in an apparent reference to neighbouring India, which recently test-fired Dhanush, Prithvi, and Agni-series ballistic missiles.