ISLAMABAD - Conducting third missile test in over a month, Pakistan on Monday test-fired Short Range Ballistic Missile (SRBM) Nasr Hatf IX in a reported development that saw the completion of the scheduled test exercise of SRBMs and Medium Range Ballistic Missiles (MRBMs). 

The Multi-Tube Hatf IX Nasr has a range of 60km Surface-to-Surface Range and is reportedly capable of carrying nuclear warheads upto 50kg.

The test was conducted in connection with Pakistan's 14th anniversary as nuclear power (May 28 atomic blasts), officials said. Earlier on April 25th, Pakistan had test-fired MRBM Shaheen I-A, the upgraded version of Shaheen-I followed by the test-launch of SRBM Ghaznavi-I on May 10th.

An official statement says, Nasr can ‘carry nuclear warheads of appropriate yield, with high accuracy and possesses shoot and scoot attributes. This quick response system addresses the need to deter evolving threats, specially at shorter ranges’. Reportedly, the next test-exercise of MRBMs would start in July this year.

Official sources say, Nasr’s ‘impact time’ (the amount of time it takes to hit the target after setting off from launching pad) is 1.5 to three minutes, which according to officials, is the shortest impact time of any Pakistani SRBM.

Nasr Hatf IX is said to be the joint venture of Pakistan's Strategic Plans Division (SPD), National Development Complex (NDC) and China's State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND).

 Since last year, the missile is under the pre-operational phase and is yet to be inducted into Pakistan's strategic fleet, it is learnt.

The Monday test, reportedly carried out in Somiani near Karachi, was witnessed by Director General NDC Anwaar Muzaffar, DG SPD Lieutenant General (Retd) Khalid Kidwai, DG Army Strategic Force Command (ASFC) Lieutenant General Tariq Nadeem Gilani and Chairman National Scientific and Engineering Commission (NESCOM) Irfan Burni.  

A statement quoted Kidwai as terming the Nasr missile as a ‘weapon of peace’, stating that the test was a major development which would consolidate Pakistan's deterrence capability at ‘all levels of the threat spectrum, thereby ensuring peace in the region’.