In October last year, Pakistan had test-fired the Ghauri ballistic missile which has a range of 1,300 km. The Ghauri missiles have been developed by the Pakistan army since the 1990s in response to India’s Agni ballistic missiles. Pakistani missile scientists throughout the 80s worked secretively to develop the missile with help from North Korea which brought it under the microscope of missile proliferation.
Pakistan first test-fired the Ghauri missile in 1998, nearly a decade and a half after India’s Agni missile. Although the Pak Army declared it a “success” however reports suggested it was largely unsuccessful as it failed to achieve its primary objectives of hitting the target and melted during “re-entry” phase.
Pakistan’s Ghauri-I(Hatf-V) ::
In subsequent years – 2010 to 2015 – Pakistan tested the missiles four times to bring it to the operational level. In 2015, Pakistan had test-fired Ghauri-I(Hatf-V), a medium-range ballistic missile, an alleged variation of North Korea’s Rodong-1.
According to the Pakistan Army, Ghauri-I had the capacity to carry up to a 700 kilogram conventional or nuclear warhead.
India quickly responded firing the Agni-III surface-to-surface missile from Wheeler Island, off the Odisha coast. It had a range of 3,500km to 5,000km. India’s intermediate-range ballistic missile added to the already growing missile race in South Asia.
Pakistan’s Babur Weapon System-1 (B) ::
In April 2018, keeping up with its missile programme, Pakistan had test-fired an enhanced version of the indigenous Babur cruise missile. The missile according to reports could deliver conventional and nuclear weapons up to a range of 700 km, mostly directed at India.
“Babur Weapon System-1 (B)” incorporates advanced aerodynamics and avionics that can strike targets both at land and sea with high accuracy, the army had said in a statement.
Although it didn’t have GPS navigation but the Pak Army said it sends the missile with “pinpoint” accuracy. According to the Pak army, it was a “force multiplier for Pakistan’s strategic deterrence”.
An ISPR video showed the missile cruising and then hitting a target at an undisclosed location. ISPR had earlier announced that Pakistan had conducted test-firing of Babur-3 submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM).
Pakistan’s Shaheen 1A surface-to-surface ballistic missile ::
Pakistan has in recent years tested a whole range of missiles from Ghaznavi, Abdali, Ghauri, Shaheen, including cruise missiles – Babur and anti-tank missiles Bakhtar-Shikan.
It has also tested the Nasr anti-tank missile which can also be used against ground troops with a range of 60 kms. It also inducted the Chinese-built LY-80 self-propelled surface-to-air missile system in March 2017.
India’s Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile (QRSAM) ::
Just days after the Pulwama attack on February 14th, India tested the short-range Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile (QRSAM) from a test range along the coast of Odisha on February 26th.
The missile with a range of 25-30 km could is capable of hitting multiple targets built to replace the ‘Akash’ missile defence system.
The testing occurred on the same day as IAF Mirage 2000s targeted JeM bases in Pakistan’s Balakot region in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
India’s Anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) ‘Helina’ ::
In fact, just days before the terror attack in Pulwama, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) carried out the flight test of Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) propulsion based missile system on February 11th.
In a statement, the Indian Ministry of Defence said, “The trajectory was tracked by telemetry and radar stations till touchdown. All the mission objectives have been met.”
“The success of SFDR propulsion technology is a significant milestone and will pave the way for the development of long-range air-to-air missiles in the country.”
The Indian Army also “flight tested” the helicopter-launched, anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) Helina, a version of the NAG missile. Helina reportedly has a range of 7km to 8km.
India’s Agni V intercontinental ballistic missile ::
India had tested the long-range Agni-V missile in August last year. The new version of the missile has a range of 5,000-5,500km qualifying as an ICBM. The earlier versions – Agni-I to Agni-4, have already been inducted into India’s defence force earlier.
The Agni-V is more geared towards China which India considers a real-time threat than Pakistan. The missile has a nuclear deterrent capability and can reach deep into Chinese territory.
Pakistan still does not have the range capability of Agni in its arsenal. The surface-to-surface ballistic missile is India’s most advanced weapons in the Agni series. It is also capable of launching small satellites.
Once fired, the missile is unstoppable and is known to travel faster than a bullet.
India’s missile Agni VI ::
India had conducted the first test of the Agni missile back in 1989, nearly a decade before Pakistan tested its missile. Currently, the DRDO is developing Agni-VI with a range of over 8,000kms.
The Agni-VI is will reportedly be able to carry 10 nuclear warheads. It will have a range of 8,000 to 10,000 km. It will also be capable of launching from the submarine and from land-based launchers.
Some reports suggested India has already tested the missile in December last year, however, the defence forces haven’t confirmed it as yet.
India’s Prithvi surface-to-surface missile ::
Not just the Agni, India successfully tested the Prithvi missile series in the last few years which is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1000 kg of warheads.
In July last year, India tested the upgraded surface-to-surface Prithvi-II missile with a strike range of 350 km.
India had inducted the Prithvi II back in 2003, which was the missile to be developed by DRDO under India’s prestigious IGMDP (Integrated Guided Missile Development Program).