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Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons Program

Pakistan as a Nuclear Power

Last changed 6 August 2001

The post-test political situation in Pakistan was inaugurated by the suspension of civil liberties immediately after the first test. A week later the Sharif administration asked Parliament for an endorsement of the state of emergency - which passed by a vote of 166 to 49.

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The Shaheen-1 terminally guided medium-range ballistic missile (also known as the Hatf-4), with a firing range of 750 km, had been developed to prototype stage in early 1998 ( after 27 months of development) but wasn't test-fired until 15 April 1999. The test flight was conducted from the coastal site of Somiani near Karachi and covered a range of 600 km. The Shaheen-I was displayed on Pakistan Day parade twice -- in 1999 and 2000. In September 2000 it was reported by media sources in Islamabad that the Shaheen-I had entered serial production and been formally inducted into the Pakistani army as an operational weapon [Farooq 2000].

The road-mobile two stage Shaheen-2 (Hatf-7) was unveiled at the annual Pakistan Day parade in April 2000. Like Pakistan's other solid-fuelled missiles, this medium range ballistic missile (MRBM) was developed by the PAEC NDC under the direction of Dr Samar Mubarrak Mund. The Shaheen-2 was estimated by Jane's Defence Weekly to have a range of 2500 km with a 1000 kg payload, and increase of 2000 km from its original design [PTI 2000]. There are allegations from several countries that Pakistan's missile technology is only an extended version of Chinese and North Korean missile technologies.

Pakistan test fired the Ghauri-2 missile on 14 April 1999 with a claimed range of 2000 km. Like the original Ghauri test, this was also simply a North Korea produced No-dong, making this Pakistani launch the fourth test of this DPRK missile system [Bermudez 1998a].

Pakistan flight-tested its 100 km-range Hatf-1 in February 2000.


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