Pakistan fires first ‘submarine-launched nuclear-capable missile’
Pakistan staged its first successful test launch of a nuclear-capable missile from a submarine Monday.
According to an announcement from the Pakistani military’s media department, the nuclear-capable Babur-3 missile, which has a range of 280 miles, was launched from an undisclosed location in the Indian Ocean and hit its target with accuracy. The press release emphasized that this powerful weapon is meant as a deterrent to war with India, which is also nuclear capable.
“Pakistan eyes this hallmark development as a step toward reinforcing the policy of credible minimum deterrence,” the military’s media wing said in a statement.
The Pakistani military said the Babur-3 missile was “capable of delivering various types of payloads and will provide Pakistan with a Credible Second Strike Capability, augmenting deterrence.”
The Babur-3, which is an aquatic version of the Babur-2 tested in December, may have been developed in response to anti-ballistic missiles developed by India, which are supposed to be capable of intercepting incoming nuclear warheads. In a statement, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif congratulated the military on the development, saying, “The successful test of Babur-3 is a manifestation of Pakistan’s technological progress and self-reliance.”
While deterrence is ostensibly a tactic to avoid nuclear war, this development has no doubt raised tensions with India, with which Pakistan has fought several wars since the two countries gained independence from Great Britain in 1947. But don’t worry, the United States’ president-elect has already promised Sharif he will “personally” help him “find solutions to the outstanding problems.”
Indian officials have yet to comment on the development.