Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Pakistan's Shaheen III Can Serve as SLV & Hit Deep Inside India, Israel

Pakistan has successfully tested Shaheen III ballistic missile with 1700 mile range. The intermediate range missile can hit deep inside India and Israel. Its multi-stage solid-fuel technology can also be used to launch satellites into space. It has been jointly developed by the National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM) and the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO). It's the latest example of dual-use technology.

Pakistan Shaheen 3 Missile Range Source: Washington Post
The missile was successfully test-fired into the Arabian Sea on Monday, March 9, 2015, according to the Strategic Plans Division (SPD) which oversees Pakistan’s nuclear program. Announcing the result, General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, the head of SPD, congratulated NESCOM (National Engineering and Scientific Commission) scientists and engineers for “achieving yet another milestone of historic significance.”

Shaheen-III is the latest in the series of the indigenously produced Shaheen-I and Shaheen-II, which had shorter ranges. “The test launch was aimed at validating various design and technical parameters of the weapon system at maximum range,” the Pakistani military said in a statement. Pakistani military leaders are trying to maintain a “credible deterrence” as arch-rival India continues to invest heavily in military hardware.

Since the technology used in satellite launch vehicles (SLV) is virtually identical to that used in a ballistic missile, Shaheen 3, the latest enhancement to Shaheen series of missiles, is expected to boost Pakistan's space program as well.  Several nations, including India and Israel recently, have used same rocket motors for  both ballistic missiles and satellite launch vehicles (SLVs).  Israel's Shavit SLV and India's SLV-3 are examples of it.

The success of Shaheen 3 multi-stage solid-fueled ballistic missile is a confirmation of Pakistan's determination to ensure its security AND to pursue its space ambitions at the same time. I congratulate Pakistani engineers and scientists at NESCOM and SUPARCO on their hard work, continuing deep commitment and the latest achievement.

Here's Pakistan's General Kidawi speaking at a Washington Conference:


Related Links:

Haq's Musings

India's Israel Envy

Pakistan Space Program

Revolution in Military Affairs

Pakistan Defense Production Goes High-Tech

Drones Outrage and Inspire Pakistanis

RMA Status in Pakistan

Cyber Wars in South Asia

Pakistan's Biggest Ever Arms Bazar

Genomics and Biotech Advances in Pakistan

India's Israel Envy: What if Modi Attacks Pakistan

Eating Grass: Pakistan's Nuclear Program


Anonymous said...

Indian slv 3 was retired in 1980s.celebrate after you have launched a satellite not before. That will enable Pakistan to match 1980 Indian tech.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Indian slv 3 was retired in 1980s.celebrate after you have launched a satellite not before. That will enable Pakistan to match 1980 Indian tech. "

The rocket motor technology used in subsequent Indian vehicles is still the same as SLV3.

David Rubin said...

Why Israel??

I must have missed the news that Israel has occupied Kashmir.

I congratulate Pakistani painters on their hard work, continuing deep commitment and the latest achievement.

Sanjeet Kumar said...

PAK doesnot have IRBM/ICBM,only upto 2750 kms(Shaheen-III),IND has ICBM,Agni-V(5500 kms). +nuclear triad. Quality important :)

Riaz Haq said...

SK : "PAK doesnot have IRBM/ICBM,only upto 2750 kms(Shaheen-III),IND has ICBM,Agni-V(5500 kms). +nuclear triad. Quality important :)"

What Pakistan has is more than enough to curb India's Israel envy.


Singh said...

How can Shaheen 3 with 1700 mile range hit Israel?

Riaz Haq said...

Singh: " How can Shaheen 3 with 1700 mile range hit Israel?"

Use crowfly map to check distances. Jerusalem, Israel is 1500 miles from Quetta, Pakistan.


Riaz Haq said...

Rubin: " Why Israel??"

Pakistan's nuclear program has been and continues to India focused given the history of conflict and continuing security threats to Pakistan's security.

Having said that, we all know Israel is no friend of Pakistan. Israel is among the top three defense suppliers to India, particularly of sophisticated defense technology. Israel-India defense coop is rapidly expanding under Modi now.


Umair said...

There are all kinds of threats to Pakistan but the only existential threat comes from India.

Israel may not be a friend or even a well wisher but it is far from being an enemy.

Mentioning Israel loosely in subject relating to nuclear reach is not only irresponsible but stupidly dangerous for Pakistan.

Pakistan has nothing to do with Israel - and please let be that way!

Riaz Haq said...

Umair: "Israel may not be a friend or even a well wisher but it is far from being an enemy...Pakistan has nothing to do with Israel - and please let be that way!"

Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is a deterrent against adventurism coming from India AND all others, including US and Israel. It's as simple as that!!!! History that tells us that no country with nuclear weapons has been invaded by outside powers.


Anonymous said...

Pakistani missile will have less range eastwards.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: " Pakistani missile will have less range eastwards."

To the contrary, Pakistani missiles will have longer range in the east toward India because the earth rotates from west to east.

And the wind direction is from west to east. So any fall-out near Pakistan will also blow east toward India.


Umair said...

Pakistan has tried so hard to not be in a position to face US as an adversary - Pakistan has done everything that the US has wanted since 1947 and even more so since the US has become the sole super power.

Riaz Haq said...

Umair: "Pakistan has tried so hard to not be in a position to face US as an adversary - Pakistan has done everything that the US has wanted since 1947 and even more so since the US has become the sole super power"

You do not understand how bad things have been between US and Pakistan on several occasions, most recently in 2011. Please read Vali Nasr's "dispensable nation" where he talks about explicit threats made by US official to Pak Army chief Gen Kayani to no avail. Earlier in 2008 US Amb Ann Patterson was quoted in wikileaks as saying "No amount of money will stop Pakistan from pursuing its strategic interests". Please read up to get better educated about US-Pakistan ties



Anonymous said...

The rocket motor technology used in subsequent Indian vehicles is still the same as SLV3.

Not at all.SLV 3 was a small solid fueled rocket more or less a copy of the US scout rocket.

PSLV GSLV use MUCH more powerful liquid fueled main engines.

Anonymous said...

Riaz, congratulations are in order for the aeronautical engineers in Pakistan for this effort. This is truly impressive.

However, your meek reference to Israel does hijack the achievement and paints an alarming geo-political scenario. While the Israel thesis is far fetched, A Shia Majority Iran is right on Pakistan's doorstep and to develop a deterrence program not just for a adversary(India) but its friends (Israel) is a flaky thought.

Now that all adversarial nations are under the ambit of Shaheen III, would the missile program in Pakistan come to a halt? I doubt so, for the engineers and physicists do not build technology with 'enemies' in mind but with a desire to overcome scientific obstacles.

Adversarial notions aside, I read your blog regularly to fathom scientific progress in all fields. Heck, I did not even know what SLV-3 was before. Your articles on inclusive bio-metric scanning in Pakistan were eye-opening for many a chest-thumping Indian. But sadly, i do not share your views on politics as they are not in line with your stature as a successful Tech entrepreneur. It is my humble request that your writing does not stray into the cesspool of politics.


Riaz Haq said...

Why Saudi Arabia Needs Pakistan

Pakistan may be Saudi Arabia’s best bet for a strong long-term security guarantee.

As the likelihood of a rapprochement between Iran and the West grows, Saudi Arabia is quietly shoring up its relationship with Pakistan.

According to various reports in the Pakistani media, Saudi Arabia requested an infusion of Pakistani soldiers following Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Riyadh last week. Despite enormous defense spending, the Saudi military is unlikely to see sustained battle or gain combat experience anytime soon. As former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates quipped, the Saudis are only willing to “fight the Iranians to the last American.” In other words, the Saudis are notoriously unwilling, or unable perhaps, due to poor training and morale, to solely use their own forces to protect their country.

This is where Pakistan, with its relatively well-trained and professional military, comes in. Pakistan has long had a close relationship with Saudi Arabia and has been involved in protecting that country and the House of Saud. Pakistan has much friendlier relations with Iran than Saudi Arabia does, but ultimately it is more dependent on Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia, for example, gave oil to Pakistan in 1998 to help Pakistan weather international sanctions against it for conducting a nuclear test. The Saudis also saved Nawaz Sharif after he was overthrown in a coup in 1999, and he is thus beholden to them.

There are already Pakistani troops deployed in Saudi Arabia, though the number is said to be modest. These facts are generally kept quiet to avoid undue attention, but many scholars agree that there is definitely some sort of security commitment from Pakistan toward Saudi Arabia. After all, Pakistani soldiers have previously deployed in Saudi Arabia: in 1979, after the Iranian Revolution, and to help out during the Grand Mosque siege in Mecca. The security commitment may include a “nuclear dimension.”

It is clear that Saudi Arabia is getting increasingly jittery, but cannot go public about this to avoid the impression that it is siding with Israel or sowing dissension in the Islamic world. Counting on Pakistan is one way it can shore up its own security while keeping a low profile. Saudi economic and educational strategy certainly seems to be aimed at increasing its leverage in Pakistan. There is no doubt that Pakistan will assist Saudi Arabia on security issues that are relatively minor, like preventing a militant seizure of Mecca. But it remains to be seen if Pakistan will get involved in a bigger way, other than to guarantee the continued existence of the Saudi state. Pakistanis most definitely do not want to get caught up in a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia, especially when they have their own pressing regional and domestic issues to worry about.


Riaz Haq said...

The Pakistan Army has successfully conducted the first test-launch of the Shaheen-III surface-to-surface ballistic missile from an undisclosed location.
Overseen by senior officers from the Strategic Plans Division, strategic forces and scientists and engineers of strategic organisations, the test was designed to validate various design and technical parameters of the weapon system at maximum range.
The missile, which can can carry nuclear and conventional warheads up to a range of 2750km, successfully hit the pre-designated target in the Arabian Sea.
Pakistan Strategic Plans Division director general lieutenant general Zubair Mahmood Hayat said the launch represents a major step towards strengthening the country's deterrence capability.

Jointly developed by the National Engineering and Scientific Commission and the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission, Shaheen-III is a medium-range ballistic missile and is expected to replace the liquid-fuelled Ghauri-III intermediate-range ballistic missile that was cancelled during the development stage.
Shaheen-III is part of the Pakistan Army's solid-fuelled Shaheen missile family and reportedly has a range greater than that of any other Pakistani missile.
Meanwhile, IBTimes UK has reported the Pakistani scientists and engineers are currently working to enhance capabilities of the missile.
The missile can currently be fired from mobile launchers.


Ram said...

"Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is a deterrent against adventurism coming from India AND all others, including US and Israel. It's as simple as that!!!! History that tells us that no country with nuclear weapons has been invaded by outside powers. "

Why would anyone invade Pakistan? If destroying Pak is the only motive (as deluded by many Pakistanis), then Pakistanis themselves are doing a much better job in that. So much for nuke power.

Sgt Catskill said...


Hamid Gul was the West's much admired General during the Cold War and was Zia's right hand man who gave Hamid Gul the top ISI spot.

All the nonsense rhetoric about the US using Pakistan is still being propagated by the Hamid Gul camp - most of Pakistan that is. Pakistan could have refused but the money and weapons were too good to pass up and helped Pakistan deal with India.

Fast forward a few years and the Hamid Gul camp - most Pakistanis that is still want the Army (and the fundamentalists on the side) to be in charge while the no-go areas in Pakistani cities are growing with many terrorist cells within them.

Yes with this new missile one can probably widen the range of attack, meanwhile who is going to attack the enemy within?

Riaz Haq said...

Sgt: "who is going to attack the enemy within?"

Just to update you on facts, Pakistan Army soldiers, including Rangers, are fighting the enemy within. Surveys show that overwhelming majority of Pakistani are supporting military action against terrorists. The results are obvious by the dramatic reduction in terror attacks and casualties.


At the same time, the new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has refused to be a proxy for India. Instead, he's helping Pakistan track down the terrorists who are attacking Pakistan.


Riaz Haq said...

From Wall Street Journal:

Three militant groups in Pakistan say they have joined forces, potentially giving that country’s Taliban insurgents more heft to resist a military campaign by the government and stepping up the general threat from extremist organizations.

A joint statement on Thursday said a splinter group from Mohmand, in the country’s tribal areas, had rejoined the main Pakistani Taliban faction, while Mangal Bagh, a warlord in the Khyber region who wasn’t previously part of the Taliban, had now allied himself and his followers with it.

“We warn the Pakistani infidel system, its agents and this apostate army that we will not let their plans succeed under any circumstances,” the statement said.

Pakistani security officials declined to comment.

The convergence comes as the governments of Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan are making tentative efforts to bring the Afghan Taliban into peace talks. In recent months, relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have dramatically improved, leading to action by Afghan forces against the Pakistani Taliban presence in their country.

The three militant groups, which have links to al Qaeda, hold sway over territory on both sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, further complicating military measures against them.

Together, the three groups have influence over a chunk of the tribal areas—Mohmand, Bajaur and Khyber regions—as well as a presence in the bordering eastern Afghan provinces of Nangarhar, Kunar and Nuristan.

The three factions would now be under a united command, to be run by a committee for now. The groups didn’t name the overall head in their statement.

The only major militant faction now still outside of the Pakistani Taliban is the group led by a commander known as Sajna, who is based in Waziristan and has many fighters from the powerful Mehsud tribe under him.

The Pakistani Taliban are nominally loyal to Mullah Mohammad Omar, the elusive leader of the Afghan Taliban, but the Pakistani militants operate independently. The main Pakistani Taliban faction is led by a militant going by the name of Mullah Fazlullah, who the Pakistani government says is based in eastern Afghanistan.

“The Pakistan army is going after them like never before, so uniting is a question of survival for them,” said Saifullah Mahsud, executive director of the FATA Research Center, a think tank in Islamabad. “With the groups uniting, the threat [from extremists] increases.”

The announcement comes as Islamic State, the militant group that holds large swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq, makes inroads into Pakistan and Afghanistan. Some Pakistani Taliban leaders have pledged allegiance to Islamic State, and officials in Islamabad and Kabul worry more militants might make the switch if the Afghan Taliban conclude a peace settlement with the Afghan government.

The Pakistani Taliban splinter group from Mohmand is a particularly hard-line faction, which had opposed the peace talks held by the Pakistani government with the Pakistani Taliban in early 2014. It also has influence in Bajaur, another key tribal area.

The warlord Mr. Bagh brings significant manpower to the militants’ table, along with a network located on the edge of Peshawar, the most significant city in Pakistan’s northwest. And the main land route for transporting supplies in and out of Afghanistan passes through the Khyber region, where his group operates.

In June, the army unleashed a major offensive that is still under way against the Pakistani Taliban base in North Waziristan, part of the tribal areas along the Afghan border. An operation was later launched in Khyber.

The Pakistani Taliban, responsible for some of the bloodiest attacks against security forces and civilians in the country, have been on the defensive since then. The group claimed responsibility for a massacre at a school in Peshawar in December that left more than 130 children dead.


Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan successfully tests its first UCAV armed drone. Burraq fires, hits target with laser-guided missile Barq http://www.samaa.tv/pakistan/13-Mar-2015/pakistan-s-first-armed-drone-hits-a-bull-s-eye …

Pakistan’s first homegrown armed drone Friday successfully test-fired a laser-guided missile with a pinpoint precision, Samaa reported.

According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the military’s media wing, the indigenously developed advanced Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) ‘Burraq’ armed with a new air-to-surface missile ‘Barq’, which means lightning, were tested at an undisclosed location Friday.

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif and other senior commanders were present onthe test site, said a tweet posted by DG ISPR Asim Bajwa.

After witnessing a successful test-fire, the COAS patted on the back of all the engineers/scientists who worked day in day out to stand Pakistan on the map of the developers of hi-tech UCAVs.

Bajwa quoted the army chief as terming it a great national achievement, which would help the armed forces rev up their anti-terror crackdown.

The drone, Burraq, which translates as "flying horse from the heavens" was jointly worked up by Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and the National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM), a civilian defence research and development organisation.

It is pertinent to note that United States has run a controversial drone programme against militant hideouts in northwestern tribal areas bordering Afghanistan since 2004.

Pakistan publicly opposes the missile strikes by US drones, terming them a violation of its territorial sovereignty and has long asked the US to give them the technology required to run their own programme.

Washington pressed Islamabad for years to wipe out the Islamist militant hideouts in the North Waziristan tribal area, which has long been a safe haven for Al-Qaeda and the homegrown Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) as well as foreign fighters such as Uzbeks and Uighurs.


Giwargis said...

//The rocket motor technology used in subsequent Indian vehicles is still the same as SLV3.//No,it is wrong to assumed so.The first stage of slv 3 was modified for use only in Agni I,II & IV.Agni III,V,K 15,K 4 SLBM uses very different stages. Propellants,grain design and the material technology for motor casings have improved much over the years.

Anonymous said...

The rocket motor technology used in subsequent Indian vehicles is still the same as SLV3.//It isn't.India have developed several liquid,cryogenic & semi cryogenic engines in addition to solid stages-We recently flight tested world's third largest rocket booster on GSLV mark 3

Riaz Haq said...

Giwargis: "No,it is wrong to assumed so.The first stage of slv 3 was modified for use only in Agni I,II & IV.Agni III,V,K 15,K 4 SLBM uses very different stages. Propellants,grain design and the material technology for motor casings have improved much over the years."

"Improved"? Yes, but does the word "improve" mean it's different? Or is it an "improvement" or "evolution" of the same basic technology?

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Indian analyst's view of "The Consequences of a Pakistani Sea-Based Nuclear Second Strike Capability"

Last week, Franz-Stefan Gady provided a helpful round-up of the confusing evidence surrounding the existence of Pakistan’s sea-based second nuclear strike capability. Since 2012, when Pakistan created its Naval Strategic Force Command, there has been considerable concern, in India and elsewhere, that Pakistan is close to imminently operationalizing a sea-based second strike capability. Though analysts remain divided over the question of how far Pakistan has taken its sea-based deterrent (we know, for example, that Pakistan has neither the quantity nor quality of submarines to effectively implement this yet), it’s worth understanding the consequences of such a development on strategic stability in South Asia.

First, what we know now suggests that any Pakistani sea-based second strike capability will depend on a sea-launched variant of the Hatf-VII Babur cruise missile. The Hatf-VII, a medium-range subsonic cruise missile, tops out at a range of 700 km, meaning that a submarine-based launch system would need to operate in waters relatively close to the prospective enemy’s shores (in Pakistan’s case, India). This brings up a problem for Pakistan’s plans for a sea-based deterrent that more established nuclear powers with sea-based deterrents such as the United States, Russia, and the United Kingdom haven’t faced. The credibility of a second strike capability lies in the difficult of detecting submarines carrying submarine-launch ballistic missiles. Undersea radars and other anti-submarine warfare techniques, already a major point of interest for the Indian armed forces, could undermine Pakistan’s sea-based deterrent.

Interestingly, this observation means that the actual specifications of the submarine being engineered for Pakistan’s sea-based deterrent, with the help of China, is less interesting than the actual delivery vehicle. Even if Pakistan manages to operate submarines on par with China’s Type 032 Qing-class or Type 041 Yuan-class, capable of launching longer-range land attack cruise missiles (a max range of 1,500 km), these missiles are only capable of being armed with “unitary tactical nuclear warheads,” according to globalsecurity.org – a far cry from the strategic nuclear deterrent necessary to credibly field a second strike capability. Experts note that Pakistan will need a submarine fleet comprising 14 vessels in order to keep one nuclear-armed sub on stand-by at all times. Back under Pervez Musharraf’s leadership, Pakistan planned to expand its fleet to 12 vessels.

Additionally, as Bruno Tertias noted in a thoughtful post over at the Lowy Interpreter last year, even if we generously acknowledge a credible strategic sea-based second strike capability to Pakistan, there is no reason to believe that conventional strategic stability logic would apply; i.e., sea-based second strike capabilities existing on both sides of the India-Pakistan nuclear balance would lead to better long-term stability.

Also worth noting is that currently, nuclear escalation in South Asia is not an entirely frictionless process given India’s mostly credible No First-Use doctrine and Pakistan’s claim that it keeps its warheads separated from its launchers (even though it maintains a First-Use policy for deterrent purposes). For a conflict across the Radcliffe Line to escalate into a full-blown strategic nuclear exchange, Pakistan’s National Command Authority (NCA) would have to explicitly authorize nuclear use. A Pakistani sea-based deterrent would make this traditional decoupling of warheads from launchers less viable and, as a result, make nuclear first-use by Pakistan more likely. Not only will this possibility cause Indian strategic planners to lose sleep, but it would draw considerable concern from the United States and other nuclear powers.


Jigar said...

Pakistan now has a long range missile with India within its range and Pakistan can put a nuclear warhead on it. The deterrence factor is there but Jammu & Kashmir will always be a part of India period!

The LOC is the de facto border like it or not and will become THE border one day.

Riaz Haq said...

Jigar: "The deterrence factor is there but Jammu & Kashmir will always be a part of India period!"

Neither country can take territory from the other. However, to quote American analyst Stephen Cohen:

"The alphabet agencies—ISI, RAW, and so forth—are often the chosen instrument of state policy when there is a conventional (and now a nuclear) balance of power, and the diplomatic route seems barren."

Riaz Haq said...

On Pakistan Day today: Retired #Pakistan pilot Sattar Alvi recalls how he shot down Capt Lutz flying a #Mirage in 1973 #Arab-#Israel war. http://tribune.com.pk/story/855837/50-years-on-memories-of-the-1973-arab-israeli-conflict/ …

They were closing in rapidly and there was no choice, but to turn and engage. No sooner had the leader ordered the turn, that the radio and radar signals were jammed, emitting unbearably shrilly noises. Just as I was turning to position myself during the turn, I got a glint of metal from behind and well below me. I simply could not ignore it and turned back to find two Mirages zooming up towards me from the valley beneath. By this time, my own formation had turned 180 degrees away flying at Mach 1.2 with no radio contact. ‘This was it’, I knew instinctively, and I was alone: Two Mirages against a single Mig-21. Instantly the fighter pilot’s training kicked in and all other thoughts left my mind. I proceeded to do what I had been trained to do.
A cardinal rule of air combat is knowing and using the limitations and strengths of your own and the enemy’s aircraft. A Mirage is good at high speeds and poor at slow speed combat. The Mirage leader made his high speed pass at me and as I forced him to overshoot he pulled up high above me. His wingman followed in the attack and I did the same with him; followed by a violent reversal and making the aircraft stand on its tail. The speed dropped to zero. The wingman should have followed his leader.
To my surprise he didn’t, and reversed getting into scissors with me at low speeds. That was suicidal and a Mirage should never do that against a Mig-21. But then, the game plan probably was for the wingman to keep me engaged while the leader turned around to sandwich and then shoot me. It was a good plan, but not easy to execute. The only difficulty in this plan was that the second Mirage had to keep me engaged long enough without becoming vulnerable himself. This is where things began to go wrong for the wingman because his leader took about 10 seconds longer than what was required.
The ‘Miraj’ effect
The wingman couldn’t just hang on with me and there was a star of David in my aiming sight after the second reversal. Seeing his dilemma and desperation to escape, the wingman attempted an exit with a steep high-speed dive. That in fact made my job easier and quicker. As soon as the distance increased and I heard the deep growl of the K-13, I fired. The missile takes one second to leave the rails and that was the longest second of my life. A second later there was a ball of fire where the wingman had been and I turned to face the leader charging towards me. We crossed but he had made a beeline for his home and thank God for that. I had only vapours remaining and no fuel. I hit the deck with supersonic speed.
Capt Lutz who was flying as the unfortunate wingman, was rescued by a helicopter and brought to the military hospital. He succumbed to his injuries later in the hospital before I could have a tete-a-tete with him. I have his flying coverall with me, presented to me as a war trophy by the Syrian air force commander-in-chief. I was awarded Wisam-e Faris and Wisam-e-Shujaat by the Syrian government, which are equivalent to Pakistani Hilal-e-Jurat and Sitara-e-Jurat.

Riaz Haq said...

Khalid Kidwai on Pak Nuclear Program at Carnegie Endowment in Washington

Pakistan needs short-range "tactical" nuclear weapons to deter arch-rival India, a top adviser to its government said Monday, dismissing concerns it could increase the risk of a nuclear war.

Khalid Kidwai also rejected concerns over the security of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, insisting that adequate safeguards are in place to protect what analysts have described as the world's fastest-growing atomic arsenal.

Pakistan's development of smaller warheads built for use on battlefields, in addition to longer-range weapons, has increased international concerns that they could get into rogue hands because of the pervasive threat of Islamic militants in the country.

Pakistan and its larger neighbor India have fought three wars. They have held on-off peace talks over the years but are involved in a nuclear and missile arms race that shows no sign of abating.

Neither side discloses the size of its arsenal. But a recent report by the Council on Foreign Relations think tank estimated that Pakistan has enough fissile material to produce between 110 and 120 nuclear weapons, and India enough for 90 to 110 weapons.

For 15 years, Kidwai led the administration of Pakistan's nuclear and missile weapons program. He now serves as an adviser to the National Command Authority, a committee of the top civilian and military leaders that sets the country's nuclear weapons policy. He spoke Monday at a conference on nuclear security organized by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.

On the sidelines of the conference, Rakesh Sood, former Indian special envoy for disarmament and nonproliferation, said it was "extremely destabilizing for any country to develop tactical nuclear weapons" and that India has no plans to. He contended that Pakistan's nuclear doctrine is "cloaked in ambiguity" which undermines confidence between the two countries.

Kidwai said nuclear deterrence had helped prevent war in South Asia. He said Pakistan's development of tactical weapons — in the form of the Nasr missile, which has a 37-mile (60-kilometer) range — was in response to concerns that India's larger military could still wage a conventional war against the country, thinking Pakistan would not risk retaliation with a bigger nuclear weapon.

Peter Lavoy, a former senior U.S. defense official, questioned whether such intermingling of conventional forces and nuclear weapons in a battlefield could increase the risk of nuclear war.

Kidwai replied that having tactical weapons would make war less likely.

He said given the strength of the rest of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, the fear of "mutually assured destruction" of the South Asian rivals would ensure that "sanity prevails."

At the other end of Pakistan's missile inventory is the Shaheen-III missile that it test-fired this month. It has a range of 1,700 miles (2,750 kilometers), giving it the capability to reach every part of India — but also potentially to reach into the Middle East, including Israel.

Kidwai said Pakistan wanted a missile of that range because it suspected India was developing strategic bases on its Andaman and Nicobar islands in the Bay of Bengal. He said the nuclear and missile program was "India-specific" and not aimed at other countries.

India and Pakistan have not fought a major conflict since 1999, when Pakistani military infiltrated into an Indian-held area of disputed Kashmir called Kargil, sparking fighting that left hundreds dead on both sides. Tensions, however, have sometimes escalated dangerously since then. In 2008, Pakistan-based militants attacked India's commercial hub of Mumbai, killing 164 people.

Read more here: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2015/03/23/3633607/pakistan-short-range-nukes-needed.html


Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan is the only #Muslim nuclear state – so why is #Israel's hysteria reserved for #Iran? http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.657319 …

Unlike Iran, Pakistan doesn't call for Israel's destruction. But in certain ways, Islamabad poses more of a threat to Israel than Tehran does.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry caused a stir recently, when he said in an interview with Israel’s Channel 10 that Israeli critics of the emerging deal with Iran were guilty of “a lot of hysteria.” He has a point. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the Lausanne deal would “endanger Israel – big time” and “make the world a much more dangerous place.”

Yet in March, Pakistan test-fired a nuclear-capable ballistic missile, the Shaheen III, which Pakistani officials said can reach Israel. This event was barely noticed in Jerusalem.

In view of the disturbing nuclear developments in Pakistan as well as in North Korea and Russia, the hysteria expressed by prominent Israeli politicians and journalists over the recent draft agreement with Iran is unwarranted. The threat posed to India, South Korea, Poland and the Baltic states from their nuclear-armed neighbors is arguably at least as great as that which Israel is facing from Iran.

Regular warnings are sounded in Israel about the dangers facing the world from nuclear terrorism once Iran obtains a nuclear weapon, but is this not a case of locking the stable door after the horse has bolted? The threat of nuclear terrorism has existed since the collapse of the Soviet Union and has grown significantly as Pakistan has cemented its status as a nuclear weapons state.

Indeed, one could argue that Islamabad poses more of a threat to Israel than Tehran does. After all, we cannot be certain that Iran will take the next step and acquire a nuclear weapon, but Pakistan already possesses over 100 nuclear warheads.

It is understandable why this is rarely discussed in Israel: Though Pakistan is the first Muslim state with a nuclear weapons program, it does not call for Israel’s destruction or sponsor terror attacks against Israel. A nuclear Iran, by contrast, would receive cover to step up its hegemonic ambitions in the region and intensify its support for terrorism against the Jewish state.

In addition, Pakistan has taken measures in recent years to strengthen oversight for its nuclear facilities and has dismantled proliferation networks. And even if Pakistan were to disintegrate tomorrow, it would be India, not Israel, that would be first in line to face Islamabad’s nuclear warheads, whereas Israel would certainly believe itself to be the first potential target of a nuclear Iran.

But despite Islamabad’s obsession with India, Pakistani officials have also spoken on occasion about the need to deter Israel. And were Pakistan to disintegrate, it could pose an imminent threat not only to India but also to the Middle East, including Israel.

During his first term in office, U.S. President Barack Obama reportedly told his staff that the possible breakup of Pakistan and the subsequent danger of a scramble for nuclear weapons was his greatest national security concern. Indeed, terrorists have tried on several occasions to assassinate the former president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf. In such circumstances, Pakistan’s nuclear weapons could be stolen or smuggled out of the country, with the possibility of rogue elements targeting Israel.


Riaz Haq said...

Ahead of PM #Modi's #Israel visit, #India's arms purchase deals worth $3 billion from Jewish state http://toi.in/xPsTqa via @timesofindia

head of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first visit to Tel Aviv later this year, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has begun to clear a slew of defence deals with Israel. The deals, some of which have been pending for long, are together worth well over $3 billion.
Defence ministry sources on Tuesday said while the deals for Spice-2000 bombs and laser-designation pods have already been cleared by the CCS, the ones for acquisition of two more Phalcon AWACS (airborne warning and control systems), four more aerostat radars and the medium-range surface-to-air missile system (MR-SAM) for the Army are now on the anvil.
TOI had last month reported that most of these deals had reached the final stages of approvals, while the negotiations for the initial Rs 3,200 crore contract for 321 Israeli "Spike" anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) systems and 8,356 missiles were also making some headway after being stalled for months.

Both the 164 laser-designation pods (Litening-4) and 250 advanced "Spice" precision stand-off bombs are meant to arm IAF fighter jets like Sukhoi-30MKIs and Jaguars for greater lethality and accuracy.
The around Rs 10,000 crore joint development of the MR-SAM for the Army, in turn, will follow the similar ongoing DRDO-Israeli Aerospace Industries projects worth around Rs 13,000 crore for the Navy and IAF. The IAF-Navy variants have an interception range of 70-km, while the one for the Army will be 50-km.
The acquisition of two additional AWACS for over $1 billion, in turn, will be a follow-on order to the three such "force-multipliers" already inducted by the IAF under a tripartite $1.1 billion agreement inked by India, Israel and Russia in 2004.

The AWACS are basically Israeli early-warning radar suites mounted on Russian IL-76 transport aircraft. With a 400-km range and 360-degree coverage, they are "eyes in the sky" capable of detecting incoming fighters, cruise missiles and drones much before ground-based radars.
Similarly, the four new aerostat radars - sensors mounted on blimp-like large balloons tethered to the ground - will follow the two such EL/M-2083 radars inducted by the IAF under a $145 million deal in 2004-2005.

Riaz Haq said...

Commenting on the parade, analyst, author and former Australian defense attache to Islamabad, Brian Cloughley, said there were “no equipment surprises, but the main thing about the parade is that it took place at all, which is a positive indicator concerning the never-ending fight against terrorism.”

The (Pakistan Day) parade (2016) had generally been an annual event, but the deterioration in the security situation led to a seven-year break from 2007 until last year. It has also been notable in the past for the public debut of new equipment.

The JF-17 Thunder made its debut in 2007, and last year the FM-90 SAM system was displayed for the first time. The Z-10 and Shaheen (Falcon) III made their debuts this year.

The Z-10 has been in the country undergoing an operational evaluation since last year. Official details of this have not been revealed, but what unofficial information is available indicates the army is impressed with the machine.

Pakistan has a requirement to replace the AH-1F Cobra helicopter gunship currently operated by the 31st, 33rd, and 35th Army Aviation Combat Squadrons, and is awaiting delivery of the AH-1Z, but is also pursuing up to 20 MI-35 Hind gunships from Russia.

The Hind appears to have been acquired to fulfill the requirement for an armed and armored helicopter also capable of carrying troops.

It was announced today that the Z-10 was in service with the 35th "Mustangs" Squadron of the Army Aviation Corps, which would paradoxically see Pakistan operating three types of helicopter gunships.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence Production, which also handles procurement, declined to provide confirmation of the purchase of the Z-10 and how many were to be obtained.

In spite of the other gunship purchases, Cloughley believes there is still room for the Z-10.

“It seems that Pakistan has firmed on 15 AH-1Zs and will probably get 20 Hinds. So there is certainly room for the Z-10, which does seem to be in squadron service,” he said. “It's much cheaper than the [AH-1Z] Viper, of course, and the Hind, though cost-effective, is a big machine.”

Though it would seem dated over today’s battlefield, members of the Army Aviation Corps have acknowledged it is the best counterinsurgency gunship available. Cloughley says the Hind also has one other clear advantage.

“The main thing with the Hind is economy in maintenance — it's probably the best in the world from that aspect for its type,” he said.

Nevertheless, he believes the Z-10 will be the mainstay of Pakistan’s gunship capability. “My assessment is that the Z-10 will be acquired in larger numbers.”

There has been speculation regarding the presence of the Chinese Harbin WZ-19 armed scout in Pakistan, but the spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence Production also declined to comment on this.

Cloughley says the presence of the medium range Shaheen III amounts to some predictable signaling that was aimed squarely at India, Pakistan’s main security threat.

The solid-fueled, multi-stage Shaheen III was tested for the first time in March 2015 and is Pakistan’s longest range missile with a stated delivery limit of 2,750 kilometers, though this is believed by many analysts to be an understatement.

Nevertheless, the range allows it to cover all parts of Indian territory with a worthwhile payload, even the Indian strategic military facilities in the Andaman and Nicobar island chain in the Bay of Bengal/Andaman Sea.

Mansoor Ahmed, a Stanton nuclear security junior faculty fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center and expert on Pakistan's nuclear deterrent and delivery systems, said that “the Shaheen III is in service, but more user trials or batch/training tests might take place as is the usual practice with other similar missile systems.”


Riaz Haq said...

#Saudi delegation in #Jerusalem, #Israel signals broader #MidEast change: @AaronDMiller2 analyzes: http://on.wsj.com/2aroX4T via @WSJPolitics

This is not necessarily a harbinger of strengthening ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel. But it indicates how Saudi Arabia and the region are changing.

The Saudi delegation was led by a retired general, Anwar Eshki (now chairman of the Middle East Center for Strategic and Legal Studies, a think tank in Jeddah) and included academics and business executives. They met with Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah and attended meetings with Israeli Knesset members. Perhaps most significant, the Saudis met with Dore Gold, the director general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, and Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, Israel’s coordinator of activities for its territories.

Mr. Gold and Mr. Eshki have met before. And non-governmental ​meetings between Israelis and Saudis in academic and policy forums are fairly common. Prince Turki bin Faisal, former Saudi ambassador to the U.S. published a column in a leading Israeli newspaper in 2014 arguing for the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative. I participated in a panel in Washington that year that included Prince Turki and Yossi Alpher, a former Mossad official. In the 1990s, during the heyday of the peace process, Israelis and Saudis met frequently in the course of multilateral forums.

But publicly announced meetings​ in Jerusalem at the King David Hotel are​ ​different. The nominal purpose was discussion of​ the 2002 Arab initiative, developed by then-Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who later became king.​ ​


Th​is​ visit reflects far more ​change in​ Saudi views than those in Israel. The Jewish state has long pressed for normalization with the Arab states, particularly those in the Gulf. Such a public visit suggests Saudi willingness to test the waters. Changes in the region wrought by the Arab Spring, the rise of Iran, and shared worries over the Iran nuclear agreement have narrowed the divide between Saudi Arabia and Israel. The Saudis appear to be more worried about Iran and the rise of ISIS than about being seen with the Israelis. The logic of shared enemies has created more intimacy in Israeli-Egyptian relations as well. Egypt and Israel both have interest in restraining Hamas and the jihadis operating in Sinai. What’s striking is that Saudi Arabia and Egypt seem to be using the Palestinian issue not to isolate Israel but as a basis to engage.

Riaz Haq said...

The Pakistan military has reportedly conducted the first successful flight test of a new medium range ballistic missile (MRBM), according to the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media arm of the Pakistan Armed Forces.

The test involved the successful launch of the surface-to-surface MRBM Ababeel, reportedly capable of carrying multiple warheads using Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicle technology (MIRV). The new missile purportedly has a maximum range of 2,200 kilometers (1,367 miles).


A third MRBM, the Shaheen-III, a multi-stage fueled ballistic missile with an estimated range of 2,750 kilometers (1,700 miles) is currently still under development by the National Development Complex. It is possible that the Ababeel is a more robust and redesigned variant of the Shaheen-III fitted with an improved terminal guidance system, among other modifications. Indeed, in order to accommodate a MIRV warhead, the Shaheen-III would in all likelihood have undergone a complete redesign.

Based on the press release it is unclear, however, whether Pakistan has mastered MIRV technology given that it merely mentions that the missile is “capable” of being fitted with a MIRV warhead, rather than announcing that it has mastered the technology and developed MIRV payloads.

And while the test will cause alarm in New Delhi, Islamabad will need to further invest in and develop intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities including satellite technology (e.g., by adapting and refining China’s Beidou-II satellite navigation system for Pakistan’s sea- and land-based missile systems) to operationalize ballistic missiles capable of carrying multiple warheads and field a credible MIRV capability.

Nevertheless, the possible introduction of MIRV warheads is a clear sign that the nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan is escalating. The mentioning of MIRV technology in the press release announces a new and more dangerous stage in the nuclear arms competition in South Asia.


Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan acquires another #communication satellite. #DTH https://tribune.com.pk/story/1666876/1-pakistan-acquires-another-communication-satellite/

Pakistan marked on Thursday another significant milestone in space technology by securing a geostationary orbital slot along with previous frequency resources ensuring a continuous and expanding foothold in the extraterrestrial world.

The Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco) inked a deal with China Great Wall Industry Cooperation (CGWIC) to acquire communication satellite PakSat Multi Satellite (PakSat-MM1).

PakSat MM-1 is believed to prove to be another major asset to initiate and expand various communication services including Direct to Home (DTH).

It will help Beijing and Islamabad to strengthen their bilateral ties not only through the ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative and but also by enhancing cooperation and capacity in the field of science and technology.

The signing ceremony was held at the Planning Commission of Pakistan and was attended by the federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal, Chinese ambassador Yao Jing among other senior officials.

On February 28, the communication satellite PakSat-MM1 arrived at Pakistan’s geostationary orbital location of 38.2 East.

The satellite will be a valuable addition to our geo-stationary fleet, the Suparco spokesperson said.

“The project has paved the way for new communication service which will significantly aid in the socio-economic development of the country” the spokesperson added.

Meanwhile, Suparco will collaborate in a business venture with CGWIC on cost and revenue sharing basis via a commercial contract.

Previously, the successful implementation of Pakistan’s first communication Satellite (Paksat-1R) programme laid the foundation for further collaboration between the two countries.

Riaz Haq said...

Hurdles in Pakistan’s Quest for Reaching Space


Though Pakistan is a developing state but it never shied away from pursuing ambitious technological pursuits. Pakistan’s space program “Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO)” established in 1961, is an example that as a nation importance of space exploration is not lost on state. Pakistan was the first country among its regional neighbors to pursue space program. However, these glittering generalities are part of the past that Pakistan witnessed regarding space satellites. Currently Pakistan is lagging in space program. In this day and age Pakistan has yet to launch remote sensing satellite in space which is essential in monitoring, recording change and in intelligence gathering as well.

Contrary to Pakistan its neighbor India which initiated its space program 8 years later, is now a record holder of sending more than 100 commercial and national satellites in one go. Furthermore, India has so far launched more than 100 satellites and establishes its network of satellites not only for commercial purposes but for military purposes as well. At the moment, India is using its 13 satellites for military purposes including Cartosat 1 and 2, Risat 1 and 2 and GSAT-7 or INSAT-4F for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance over enemy areas.

The fact that India is also a developing country where the population is increasing and resources are becoming scarce by the day, is thought compelling. It is evident that by being mindful of military and economic benefits of space exploration India never gave up on its progress in arena of space technology. Significant contribution to India’s space program came from the development of strategic ties with the US and consequently its accession to MTCR and Wassenaar Arrangement. It’s beyond any reasonable doubt that India’s space program achieved its glorious heights after making strategic ties with the US.

International support received by India is one of the significant reasons behind robust success of its space program but the same is not the reason behind slow pace of Pakistan’s space program.

There are several contributing factors behind inactive space program that Pakistan is running. One of the biggest technical short comings Pakistan is still facing in its space satellite program is the dearth of launching vehicle for space satellite. The satellite launch vehicle enables a state to enter its payload into an outer orbit from earth’s surface through the help of carrier rocket. Recent telecommunication and digital satellite launched by Pakistan utilized China’s assistance. So, the biggest short coming in technical sphere is absence of satellite launch vehicle. Pakistan is a state with sufficient man power but needs financial sources to build satellite launch vehicles.

To reserve finances for space program it is essential that government builds state narrative on importance of space exploration as satellites are not only essential for military purposes but is also a growing industry. In a time where super power is governing international system through the help of information technology and globalization has massive effects on state affairs, space satellites are becoming economic opportunity to be seized. So far in South Asia only country which is tapping space is India and thus seizing all the economic benefits along with military benefits. Economic benefits of the space exploration are undeniable; states providing launch facilities to the host space satellites earn huge revenue for providing the launch facilities. At the moment, India is only South Asian regional player which is hosting commercial satellite and is even providing services to companies like Google.

Riaz Haq said...

Could China Help Pakistan Make Its Nuclear Arsenal Even Deadlier?


Testifying before Congress in March, U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency director Robert Ashley confirmed that “In January 2017, Pakistan conducted the first test launch of its nuclear-capable Ababeel ballistic missile, demonstrating South Asia’s first MIRV payload.”

Analysts believe Pakistan’s MIRV technology has yet to be perfected, but the latest acquisition of a Chinese optical system will significantly aid development.

In missile testing, optical systems consist of specialized telescopes equipped with a high-speed camera, infrared detector, laser ranger, and a tracking system that captures and follows targets. With this system, missile designers are able to view high-resolution images from each stage of the missile including launch, separation, re-entry and the release of warheads.

The Chinese system that Pakistan acquired is unique for its four telescope units. Each unit is placed at a different location to capture highly detailed and accurate images from multiple angles. With multiple warheads, the additional telescopes allow the system to more easily track each warhead simultaneously.

Rong Jili, Beijing Institute of Technology’s School of Aerospace Engineering’s deputy director, explained that high-quality optics are especially critical in the development of MIRVs. While radar and other tracking systems can collect more precise data at long distances, optical systems provide direct feedback.

“Seeing it with our own eyes is completely different from mining dry data. It helps to not only diagnose problems, but also generate inspiration,” Rong told the South China Morning Post.

A Chinese team spent three months in Pakistan assembling the system and training locals on how to use it.

China has long partnered with Pakistan, covertly assisting the nation in developing nuclear weapons during the Cold War. More recently, China has helped Pakistan develop several nuclear reactors and regularly sells the nation fighter jets, submarines, short-range missiles and unmanned drones.

In 2017, Pakistan bolstered its air defenses by spending $373 million on Chinese anti-air missiles to ward off Indian jets.

Riaz Haq said...

Rs4.7bn allotted for Suparco projects


In a bid to reduce dependence on foreign satellites for civil and military purposes, Pakistan plans to launch an aggressive space programme during the next fiscal year by initiating several projects.

The budget of the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Organisation (Suparco) for the upcoming fiscal year 2018-19 is Rs4.70 billion which includes Rs2.55bn for three new projects.

The funding includes allocation of Rs1.35bn for Pakistan Multi-Mission Satellite (PakSat- MM1) and the country is also planning to establish Pakistan Space Centre in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad with the allocation of Rs1bn. The third project is establishment of Space Application Research Centre in Karachi with the budget of Rs200 million in 2018-19.

The total cost of PakSat-MM1 is Rs27.57bn and that of the space centres is Rs26.91bn.

These projects are part of several ongoing and upcoming schemes to develop self-reliance capacity and reduce dependence on foreign satellites, mainly the US and French satellites for civil and military communications.

Analysts have stressed that advanced space programme is the need of time not only due to growing demand from the civil communications, including the GPS, mobile telephony and the internet but due to changing scenario in the region also.

“There are two unusual developments in the region effecting the strategic situation — first of all Pakistan has to keep an eye on Indian side and previously their programme had limited quality advancements but now the US has active cooperation with the Indian satellite programme,” Maria Sultan, a defence analyst said.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan pushes for homegrown satellite development
By: Usman Ansari


Pakistan has launched an ambitious satellite program as part of ongoing efforts to wean itself off dependence on foreign-owned assets for civil and military applications.

Pakistan’s domestic space agency, the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission, or SUPARCO, will receive a budget of just more than $40 million for fiscal 2018-2019.

Of this, some $22 million has been allocated for space centers related to the Pakistan Multi-Mission Satellite in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore, plus the establishment of a research center in Karachi.

To get all the news about space and strategic systems delivered to your inbox every month, be sure to sign up for our Military Space Report newsletter.

However, the final cost of all three aspects of the project is reported in local media as being in the region of $470 million.

No response from SUPARCO was forthcoming when asked by Defense News regarding details about foreign cooperation on this endeavor, although existing information on planned remote sensing satellite programs list an electro-optical sensor-equipped satellite, and a synthetic aperture radar-equipped example.

An existing communications satellite partially co-developed in Pakistan, PAKSAT-1R, was launched by China Great Wall Industry Corporation in 2011.

“It is essential for all countries that they free themselves from dependence on U.S.-location satellite programs,” said Brian Cloughley, author, analyst and former Australian defense attache to Islamabad.

“I have no doubt this has been [in] the cards for some time and that the Chinese are helping.”

Defense News previously reported that Pakistan’s military had access to China’s BeiDou satellite navigation system for military applications, which had special implications for the effectiveness of its sea-based deterrent.

Pakistan also has a long-standing satellite development agreement with Turkey, which has its own recently unveiled observation satellite program.

However, at present it is unknown if anything has resulted from this, or if it will be pushed further down the road.

Cloughley believes it would take a long time to come to fruition, making cooperation with China more likely still.

Also, on cost grounds alone for the new program, Cloughley believes it likely that reliance on China will grow.

“The big question about this development is about where the money is to come from. Pakistan’s economic situation is dire, and commitment to such a program will not meet with [International Monetary Fund] approval. The China connection will probably deepen even further,” he said.

Whether China’s satellite technology will meet Pakistan’s requirements is unknown.

Brian Weeden, director of program planning at Secure World Foundation and an expert in space technologies and satellites, is unaware of the details of any satellites China may be building for Pakistan. However, he “would rate China’s technology in these areas as fairly good.”

“They’re not yet as capable as the most advanced American or European commercial technology, let alone the U.S. or European military satellites, but the Chinese technology is rapidly improving,” he said.

Riaz Haq said...

It would appear that Iran chose to choose to use two identical half length solid motors of identical diameter for a second and third stage instead of the Shaheen-2 like first stage one with a sea level nozzle and the second one with an altitude nozzle as the second stage.


It would appear that Pakistan in fact plans to lengthen the Shaheen-2 first and second stage solid motors to obtain higher performance for its space booster while retaining the existing M-11 based Shaheen-1 solid motors strap–on boosters. In any case both developments could and would lead to potential IRBM/ICBM development masquerading as space boosters for both countries.


Iran ’s missile solid propellant rocket motor program is not believed to be advanced enough compared to its liquid fuel rocket engine program, launch vehicle program to provide much more than strap on solid motors or upper and last stage satellite orbit injection solid motor for launch vehicles. This is based on the examples of the Naze’at-6 (NP-110), Naze’at-10 (NP-110A), Zelzel-1 (Mushak-100), Zelzel-2 (Mushak-200), and Fateh-110/110A. This solid motor program is known to be years behind the liquid propellant program but it is making systematic deliberate and critical strides that will eventually bring it up to IRBM, ICBM potential. Iran is believed during the year 2000 to have started the development of a new multi-stage solid propellant motor based Ghadr-101, and Ghadr-110, which may be an Iranian variant on the Shaheen-1, and Shaheen-II design of Pakistan . This advance is presumably thanks to the A. Q. Khan network, which in turn can thank China for its M-9, M-11 and M-18 technology.

Riaz Haq said...


Shaheen 3
HomeWorld MissilesPakistanShaheen 3
The Shaheen 3 missile is a two-stage, solid-fueled medium-range ballistic missile in development by Pakistan. The missile is reportedly capable of carrying both nuclear and conventional payloads to a range of 2,750 km, which would make it the longest range missile in Pakistan’s strategic arsenal.1 It was first publicly displayed during a military parade in March 2016.2 The Shaheen 3 is road-mobile and reportedly mounted on a Chinese transporter erector launcher.3

Shaheen 3 at a Glance
Originated from: Pakistan
Possessed by: Pakistan
Class: Medium-Range Ballistic Missile (MRBM)
Basing: Road-mobile
Length: 19.3 m
Diameter: 1.4 m
Payload: Nuclear, conventional
Propulsion: Two-stage, Solid-propellant
Range: 2,750 km
Status: In development

shaheen 3

The publicized 2,750 km range of the Shaheen 3 suggests modest improvement over the Hatf 6 or Shaheen 2, which is reported to have a range between 2,000 and 2,500 km. The additional range allows the missile to target Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal, which is the sole reason for its development according to General Khalid Kidwai, the former head of the Strategic Plans Division.4

Some speculation suggests that Pakistan is also working to equip the Shaheen-3 with multiple independent reentry vehicles (MIRV) as a response to Indian attempts to develop a missile defense capability.5

The missile underwent at least two successful tests in 2015 in March and December. 6


Riaz Haq said...

Almost all Indian media outlets – from electronic and print to social – are giving wide coverage to an apparently ‘unusual development in the region’ under which Pakistan is all set to upgrade and advance its indigenous space programme which previously had “limited quality advancements” as compared to that of India, who has of late been engaged in active cooperation with the United States in order to enhance and upgrade its (Indian) satellite programme. In the recently announced annual budget, the Pakistan government has allocated a reasonable funding for the project. After successful completion of the programme, Pakistan is likely to come at par in space technology as well.


Obviously the news of Pakistan’s more vibrant and advance space programme plan has sent shockwaves across the world, especially India, as the report published in newspapers specifically mentions that this programme is primarily aimed at keeping an eye on the Indian side besides serving other purposes. However, on the other hand, people of Pakistan, civil society, intelligentsia and political-cum-defence observers have expressed great satisfaction as for Pakistan advance space programmes were the need of the hour, not only from the defence point of view but also due to the growing demand from the civil communications, including the GPS, mobile telephony and the internet as well as due to changing scenario in the region, under which India has advanced itself to create security imbalance in the region.

Pakistan is entering a new era of advancement after its most successful, advanced and vibrant nuclear deterrent and missile system programmes. This will help reduce Pakistan’s dependence on foreign satellites it needs to use for civil and military purposes. Earlier Pakistan had been getting help from the US and France. Under the new indigenous space programme, Pakistan plans to initiate several projects to develop its own capacity while reducing the dependence on foreign satellites.

Pakistan is planning to establish various space centres, for example in cities like Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad with the allocation of Rs 1 billion.

The budget for SUPARCO (Pakistan’s “Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Organisation”) for the upcoming fiscal year 2018-19 has been set as Rs 4.70 billion, which includes Rs 2.55 billion for three new projects. SUPARCO has regularly been conducting activities each year to increase awareness of space technology and to promote its peaceful usage amongst the students and the masses in Pakistan since 2005. The budget allocation includes funding of Rs 1.35 billion for Pakistan Multi-Mission Satellite (PakSat-MM1). Likewise, Pakistan is planning to establish various space centres, for example in cities like Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad with the allocation of Rs 1 billion. Another project, third in a row, which is on cards, is establishment of Space Application Research Centre in Karachi with the budget of Rs 200 million in 2018-19. The total cost of PakSat-MM1 is said to be Rs 27.57 billion and the cost of the space centres is Rs 26.91 billion.

Space-based communication systems offer fast and affordable means of providing services like tele-education, telemedicine, mobile telephony and television to remote areas. The diversity and cultural exchanges of our populations can be better served by television broadcasting via satellites. Besides, communication satellites provide an important and essential communication medium to Pakistan’s armed forces. Remote sensing satellites have great potential in contributing to better land management, food security, disaster management, urban planning, mineral exploration, crop yield forecasting, water management, etc. Weather has a profound effect on life. Weather satellites provide forecasts on temperature, precipitation, cloudiness and winds have both civilian and military applications.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan to set up its own Space Centre for Satellite production & development

On 14 May 2018, the Government of Pakistan announced that it will establish the Pakistan Space Centre (PSC) to start the domestic development and manufacturing of satellites. According to a report by Pakistan’s state-owned Associated Press of Pakistan (APP), the PSC will undertake its programs “in accordance with international space standards” in the coming years.

The APP also reports that Pakistan will complete feasibility studies for two new projects:
Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite 02 (PRSS-02) with “sub-meter” resolution image capture capability.
Second, the Pakistan Navigation Satellite System (PakNav), which will provide Pakistan with “independent satellite navigation for both civilian and strategic purposes”.
The PRSS-1 was initially scheduled for launch (by China) in March 2018, but this has been delayed due to some reasons. However, Pakistan is still committed to launching it in 2018.

The initiative, if it becomes a reality, would be a big step forward to the space development programs in Pakistan.

Recently, Pakistan and China signed an agreement for the development and launch of PakSat Multi-Mission Satelite (PakSat-MM1) as well. PakSat-MM1 will primarily function as a communications satellite with the capability to provide Direct-to-Home (DTH) services. The PakSat-MM1 will primarily serve a commercial role, e.g. provide Direct-to-Home (DTH) services.

Riaz Haq said...

Two #Pakistani #Satellites launched into orbit by #China: #Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite-1 (PRSS-1) for day/night surveillance, PakTES-1A satellite, a scientific experiment satellite designed and developed by #Pakistan #space agency #SUPARCO


China launched twice July 9, with an early Long March 2C launch of two satellites for Pakistan into low Earth orbit being followed up with a Long March 3A mission to back up China’s Beidou navigation satellite system.

The first launch saw the Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite-1 (PRSS-1) lofted from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in a desert region of Gansu province, northwest China, at 03:56 UTC July 9 (11:56 p.m. Eastern July 8).

The optical satellite was put into a 588 by 624 kilometer orbit inclined by 98 degrees by the Long March 2C/SMA configuration which uses an upper stage.

PRSS-1 was developed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) and is based on a CAST-2000 satellite bus. Its imaging system provides panchromatic and multispectral imaging at 1-meter and 4-meter resolution, respectively, with a swarth width of around 60 kilometers.

It will be used for land and resources surveying, monitoring of natural disasters, agriculture research, urban construction and providing remote-sensing information for the establishment of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and in the Belt and Road initiative, according to Chinese state media.

PRSS-1 was accompanied by the smaller PakTES-1A satellite, a scientific experiment satellite designed and developed by Pakistan’s Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO).

CAST is a subsidiary of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), the main contractor for the Chinese space program, which also provided the launch service. CAST also stated it provided training to Pakistan personnel as part of the satellite package, with SUPARCO to operate PRSS-1 after on-orbit delivery.

China has in recent years adopted a strategy of offering turnkey projects which include satellite manufacture and launch as well as possible financing mechanisms. The country has launched communications and other satellites for countries including Belarus, Laos, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nigeria.

Riaz Haq said...

Narendra #Modi says #India will send a manned flight into #space by 2022.


India will send a manned flight into space by 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Wednesday as part of India’s independence day celebrations.

He said India will become the fourth country after Russia, the United States and China to achieve the feat and its astronaut could be a man or a woman. The space capsule that will transport India’s astronauts was tested a few days earlier.

Rakesh Sharma was the first Indian to travel in space, aboard a Soviet rocket in 1984. As part of its own space program, active since the 1960s, India has launched scores of satellites for itself and other countries and successfully put one in orbit around Mars in 2014.

It hopes to showcase its technological ability to explore the solar system while also using research from space and elsewhere to solve problems at home. The $1 billion-a-year space program has already helped develop satellite, communication and remote-sensing technologies and has been used to gauge underground water levels and predict weather in the country prone to cycles of drought and flood.

India won independence from British colonialists in 1947. Modi’s 80-minute speech, broadcast live from the historic Red Fort in New Delhi, comes months before national elections.

Modi listed his government’s achievements in the past four years in reforming the country’s economy, reducing poverty and corruption. He announced a health insurance scheme for 500 million poor people providing a cover of 500,000 rupees ($7,150) per family a year.

He said India will become a growth engine for the world economy as the “sleeping elephant” has started to run on the back of structural economic reforms.

He said its economy was seen as fragile before 2014 but was now attracting investment. India is the sixth-largest economy in the world and Modi said international institutions see India as giving strength to the world economy for the next three decades.

He said the structural reforms like a national tax replacing various state and local taxes, bankruptcy and insolvency laws, and a crackdown on corruption have helped transform the economy.

Modi became prime minister when his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party won a resounding victory in the national elections in 2014. He will seek another 5-year term for his party at elections due by March-April next year.

Riaz Haq said...

Manned #spaceflight is a waste of resources. it makes no sense when robots and virtual reality devices can do the job better, cheaper and safer. #NASA #India #space #Modi #IndiaIndependenceDay https://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/outside-the-boardroom/article/Manned-spaceflight-is-a-waste-or-resources-10620435.php?utm_campaign=twitter-premium&utm_source=CMS%20Sharing%20Button&utm_medium=social

Voyaging to Mars has captured the imagination of many Americans and inspired billionaires to talk of interplanetary colonization, but unfortunately, it makes little economic or scientific sense.

My colleague Andrea Rumbaugh reports from SpaceCom that "NASA wants to get people to Mars in the 2030s." While that's a romantic marketing tool to convince the public to pressure Congress to boost NASA's budget, it makes no sense when robots and virtual reality devices can do the job better, cheaper and safer.

Admittedly, this is a raging debate in scientific circles, but one the public needs to join in. There are even some serious questions about the value of the experiments underway on the International Space Station, not to mention the logistical challenge of sending humans on a three-year trip to Mars and back.

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Folks who want to go to space believe that only humans can truly explore, and that machines are a poor substitute. Yet robots are growing so sophisticated, and so capable, that many believe they will exceed human capabilities, just as no human can beat a computer anymore at playing chess, or the much more complex game called Go.

U.S. Air Force pilots on the ground in Nevada fly spy planes all over the world, 24 hours a day. The technology is so good that last year Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter "almost certainly will be, the last manned strike fighter aircraft the Department of the Navy will ever buy or fly."

Virtual reality goggles are also getting very good at giving people the sense of being outside their bodies. The right equipment mounted on a robot on another planet could allow every human on earth with Internet access a chance at feeling like they are on another planet.

So why go the expensive, manned spaceflight route? What often goes unstated is the role of business in lobbying for the most expensive space program possible.

In an era of low defense spending, companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin are looking for new government contracts to boost their bottom line. The Apollo program cost the United States $275 billion in today's dollars, and a single flight of the space shuttle cost $450 million, the main reason the program was discontinued. Boeing and Lockheed made fortunes on the programs.

The Mars Curiosity Rover cost $2.5 billion and is doing great work using fairly dated robotics and sensors. The same mission today could accomplish much more and cost less. In comparison, a manned mission to Mars is conservatively estimated to cost $100 billion. NASA could send 40 robots to many planets for the price of one manned trip to Mars.

NASA supporters like to talk about the technological benefits of spin-off technology. And that's perhaps the most compelling argument for sending robots and using virtual reality instead of sending humans. Both technologies have broad application in earth's economy, ranging from virtual trips to the Amazon to self-driving cars.

Riaz Haq said...

China-Pakistan satellite nexus affects India’s war strategy


China’s commercial interests in the South Asian space market have expanded into the security sphere, with it launching Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite-1 (PRSS-1). This is ostensibly a crop and resources monitoring platform, but the military utility is obvious. The satellite was built by China, which is already investing in a high resolution remote sensing constellation “Yaogan”, possessing sophisticated electro-optic and radar sensors for military purposes. These satellites play a critical role in China’s Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile project, feeding time sensitive information for the missile launch and manoeuvring.

Pakistan possessing such an advanced platform disrupts India’s battlefield superiority to an extent. A two-front war would stress allocation of resources and any qualitative enhancement of enemy’s forces would jeopardise India’s strategy. By acquiring satellite information, Pakistan will enhance its sensor to shooter connectivity and make precision strikes against Indian targets. This makes Pakistan’s tactical nuclear weapons more deadly against advancing Indian Army columns. Pakistan is already acquiring attack aircraft and warships from China, in addition to adopting its BeiDou GPS network that can give 10 cm accuracy on restricted military signal.

The utility of GPS for military operations was well established by the United States, during the Gulf War and India’s inadequacy during the Kargil conflict. The use of Cartosat imaging for surgical strikes demonstrates the role played by remote sensing satellites. Therefore, Pakistan’s enhancement of its military capabilities, using space assets must be dominated by India improving its network-centric capabilities, including satellites. The inclusion of private industry in satellite manufacturing and launch vehicle operations should help remove the bottlenecks and improve India’s space advantages qualitatively and quantitatively.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan's first #space mission to be launched in 2022. An agreement between Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) and a #Chinese company has already been signed. #China #CPEC https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/385381-first-pakistani-space-mission-in-2022

Pakistan in July this year launched two of its satellites into the orbit from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in China.

The satellites, Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite-1 (PRSS-1) and Pakistan Technology Evaluation Satellite-1A (PakTES-1A), were propelled into space through the Chinese Long March 2C launch vehicle.

The PRSS-1 is to be mainly used in Pakistan for land resources survey, evaluation, dynamic monitoring and management, resource utilisation, environmental disaster monitoring, agricultural survey, and urban construction.

The satellite, which has a designed life of seven years, is equipped with two panchromatic/multispectral cameras, with a resolution up to a meter and a coverage range of 60 km.

Riaz Haq said...

Bitter rivals blast off as #Pakistan enters #space race with #India. Both plan #astronauts in space in 2022. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-26/bitter-rivals-blast-off-as-pakistan-enters-space-race-with-india via @bpolitics

The rivalry between India and Pakistan seems to be extending into outer space.

“The first Pakistani will be sent to space in 2022,” Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said Thursday, the same year that India is planning its first manned mission. Pakistan’s space agency, the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission, has “an agreement for this venture” with China’s Manned Space Agency, Chaudhry said.

While Pakistan’s financial capabilities for such a mission are seen as limited, the announcement still reflects the latest swipe between the two countries who have fought three wars since the partition of British India in 1947 and still trade fire across a de facto border in the disputed region of Kashmir.

The countries’ bitter rivalry is costing them $35 billion in annual trade, according to a World Bank report.

India has already conducted missions to Mars and the moon, and plans to spend $1.4 billion to send a crew of three to space by 2022, which would put it on track to become the fourth nation to send humans to space.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan’s #SUPARCO Said To Be In Talks With #UAE On #Space Cooperation. Pakistan plans on sending its first #astronaut into space by 2022 with the assistance of China. #science #technology https://spacewatch.global/?p=13192

Pakistan’s space agency, the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), is believed to be in talks with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on developing an agenda for possible space cooperation, according to a senior SUPARCO official quoted in the UAE newspaper Khaleej Times.

SUPARCO were in the UAE last week where they were a prominent exhibitor at the Global Space Congress in Abu Dhabi for the first time. At their stand SUPARCO shared information with conference participants on their satellite projects.

Pakistan’s focus on space has increased over the past few years. It currently has two Earth observation satellites in orbit – the Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite-1 (PRSS-1) and PakTES-1A both launched from China in 2018 – and the PakSat-MM1 and PakSat-1R communications satellites – with further Earth observation and communication satellite launches expected in the coming years.

Pakistan also plans on sending its first astronaut into space by 2022 with the assistance of China.

“We are in initial talks with the UAE for potential collaboration,” the secretary of SUPARCO, Dr Arif Ali, told the Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the Global Space Congress in Abu Dhabi.

“We have initial talks with them (the UAE) and our participation in this year’s congress is to have cooperation with UAE’s space sector, particularly in our strong areas such as satellite manufacturing and related-applications. If you have more satellites in space, then you have more opportunities of having international collaboration. At the same time, you gain something for your country and offer something beneficial for humanity. We believe in the peaceful use of outer space.”

Until now Pakistan has exclusively cooperated with China for developing its growing space programme. If reports that Pakistan is in discussions with the UAE about space cooperation are true, then this follows recent geopolitical developments involving the UAE helping Pakistan address its indebtedness to Beijing, incurred in part through the costs of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a signature project of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Both the UAE and Saudi Arabia have recently come to the aid of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan in his attempt to revive the Pakistani economy and reduce the country’s exclusive reliance on China, by providing loans worth billions of dollars as well as substantial investments.

Riaz Haq said...

A peek into the life and work of Pakistani astrophysicist at NASA, Mansoor Ahmed
"I believe the effort to instil within students love for science needs to start at the early stages of education."

Saadeqa KhanUpdated Jan 17, 2018 12:41pm
Since I was a child, I have been fascinated by the alluring night sky, the glittering moon and countless stars over the horizon. All throughout my childhood, space sciences and astronomy remained my passion.

While researching personalities from all around the world in those fields, I always wondered why despite the fact there is no dearth of talent in the country, I was unable to find any instance of Pakistanis working for the National Air and Space Administration (NASA).

I got in touch with Dr Mohsin Siddique, director of the theoretical physics department at the National Center for Physics, Islamabad.

Through him I had the privilege of connecting with Mr Mansoor Ahmed, a Pakistani astrophysicist, who has been associated with NASA for almost 35 years and is currently serving as the associate director of the Astrophysics Projects Division, as well as the programme manager for the Physics of the Cosmos programme and the Cosmic Origins programme at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland.

Mr Ahmed has spent most of his career working at the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) programme in different capacities, including as flight operations manager and the project manager for HST operations.

He was the deputy project manager of the James Web Space Telescope (JWST) and the project manager of the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission, a collaborative endeavour between NASA and the European Space Agency.

Here, I ask the impressive gentleman his success story, from his childhood in Peshawar to his work with NASA.

You were born and grew up in Peshawar. Can you tell us your family background? Do you recall any interesting story from your childhood/teenage years?

My father was a Subedar-major in the army. We lived in Peshawar, near Fort Bala Hissar.

For the first five years of my education, I went to a Christian mission school and from sixth grade onwards, I attended the Government Higher Secondary School.

Our house was across the street from Naaz cinema, the only cinema in the city that played English-language films. This is where I got my first exposure to films.

My father took me to see The Vikings and I was hooked from then on, even though, I didn’t really understand any English at that time.

My answer to the question 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' was: 'I want to become the ticket collector at Naaz cinema so that I can see every film playing there.'

One day, I was visiting some relatives who lived right next to the Pakistan Air Force base in Peshawar and I witnessed an F-86 land on the runway. As the plane taxied, I could see the cockpit and the pilot.

The pilot waved at me as he passed by and right then my career goals changed. I wanted to be a fighter pilot.

At Government High School, a close friend of mine, Ayub, told me about the Air Force cadet academy in Lower Topa, a tiny town near Murree.

It consists of a boarding school that selects 60 children each year as pre-cadets, to prepare them to enter the air force flying academy after FSc. Ayub said he was applying and encouraged me to the same.

Fortunately, both of us got selected and we entered Lower Topa in May of 1966, at the age of 13.

In Pakistan it is not common for parents to support their kids to pursue astronomy as a profession. Can you tell us how much encouragement you received from your family during the early years of your career? Would you encourage your own child if they were to prefer the same profession?

I think there are two aspects to this question. Parents are concerned about the livelihood of their children when they grow up.

They are concerned whether their children will be able to earn a living and support a family. So, their tendency is to push their kids towards careers that are known to provide a good living.

Riaz Haq said...

All Weather Friends: #China and #Pakistan #Space Cooperation. Pakistan’s space program is set to benefit greatly from China’s advanced #technology. Expect to send #Pakistani #astronaut in space soon. @Diplomat_APAC https://thediplomat.com/2020/01/all-weather-friends-china-and-pakistan-space-cooperation/

In 1962, Pakistan became the third Asian country to launch rockets. ....In September of the same year (1962) , Salam started the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) in Karachi, eight years before India formalized its own space agency, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). After that, four top scientists from Pakistan were sent to United States for training at NASA. Salam’s growing eminence in the scientific world won him accolades. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979, which became a beacon to attract young talents to Pakistan’s space organization.

In 1962, Pakistan became the third Asian country to launch rockets. That year, SUPARCO launched its first rocket, Rehbar I, from the Karachi coast with help from NASA just before India launched its first rocket from Thumba launching station. Despite this headstart, today SUPARCO is a long way behind ISRO due to poor education funding and military leadership interfering in scientific goals.

SUPARCO soon moved its focus to the atomic bomb project, taking key resources and scientists away from space endeavors. But the most drastic fall in the Pakistani space program came between the 1980s and 1990s, when then-President Zia-ul-Haq cut off the funding to major projects such as the communication satellite program. After that, military generals were made leaders in the organization, replacing scientists, and the new focus was on countering India through conventional and nuclear acquisitions. That left little funds to take on some of Pakistan’s more ambitious space projects. By contrast, ISRO launched its first communication satellite in 1981, started technology sharing programs with many countries, and in 1988 unveiled a remote sensing satellite system, which is now the largest in the world. Pakistan, meanwhile, only launched its first satellite, Badr I, in 1990 with the assistance of the Chinese.


The two countries also signed a 2012-2020 roadmap for space cooperation between SUPARCO and the China National Space Administration (CNSA) in 2012. During Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Beijing in 2018, both countries agreed to move forward with that agreement. As part of their joint collaboration on space missions, Pakistan has expressed its willingness to send a Pakistani astronaut into space on a Chinese spacecraft. At the AirTech conference in December 2017, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman stated that Pakistan would send astronauts into space with China’s help by 2020. China has also successfully launched two remote sensing satellites for its “all-weather” friend Pakistan. And in April 2019 China and Pakistan signed an agreement on space exploration, which marks a new phase in space science cooperation between the all-weather allies.


China has proposed building a “Space Silk Road” to virtually enhance its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), including the linchpin China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, into a three-dimensional (space, land, and water) super-project. In the Space Silk Road, China’s Beidou satellites would help with navigation from submarines to aircraft and will connect all the BRI countries. Pakistan also requested China’s participation in the development of the Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite (PRSS). PRSS-1, launched in 2018, is considered yet another flagship project for China-Pakistan relations.

Riaz Haq said...

#NASA #astronauts, #scientists answer #Pakistani fourth-graders’ #science questions on Twitter. #Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, #American TV host Emily Calandrelli replied to the tweet https://gn24.ae/aa2409bc4ec6000

A group of fourth graders from Karachi got the surprise of their lives today when they wrote a letter asking American space agency Nasa (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) some questions about space and got replies from astronauts and space experts.

Students of The Cornerstone School in Karachi, Pakistan, had some questions for astronauts about travelling to space. Promoting curiosity in her students, their teacher helped them post the questions on Twitter. She tagged Nasa’s official Twitter account as well as some astronauts in hopes of getting a response.

The tweet soon started gaining attention as people began retweeting it to help make it viral. Eventually, astronauts and space experts took notice of it and replied.

The Emmy-nominated American science TV host Emily Calandrelli, who hosts Xploration Outer Space and Emily’s Wonder Lab, was the first expert to reply to the tweet.

A 10-year-old student Alisha had asked: “What fuel does a spaceship use?”

Calandrelli replied: “All different types! Some popular rockets that you’ll see will use a fuel plus an oxidiser. For example, something called RP-1 and then liquid oxygen. These are combined and then *ignited* and burned to create a big (controlled) explosion that moves the rocket!”

Nine-year-old Haniyah asked: “Is it true that it rains diamonds on Jupiter?”

The MIT-engineer replied: “It’s definitely possible!! The same physics and chemistry that creates diamonds here on Earth (putting carbon under super high heat/pressure) exist on planets like Jupiter, so some scientists hypothesize that it’s raining diamonds there. Wouldn’t it be fun to see that?”

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield who often shares space videos replied to 10-year-old Mahrukh’s question: “How do you feel when you get blasted off in a space shuttle?”

@Cmdr_Hadfield replied: “Mahrukh - I flew in the Space Shuttle twice. You feel violently shaken, squished, super-focused, excited, and lucky.”

He also replied to another student named Rayyan, who asked: “Do you get scared that your space shuttle might get lost?”

Along with a picture of Karachi from space, @Cmdr_Hadfield tweeted: “Rayyan - I wasn't scared we'd get lost. We had the Earth nearby, and used the stars to steer. I felt especially comforted when I flew over home. Here's a photo I took of Karachi - can you find your school?”

By October 15 morning, screenshots of the tweet were viral on other social media platforms as well. And Nasa scientists and space experts started replying to the questions on Reddit. Twitter users later posted these responses in reply to the teacher’s original tweet.

Tweep @tahaazher wrote: “Also these replies from Nasa scientists on @reddit. They have invited the students when the pandemic is over.”

That’s not all. The students got a reply from the control centre of Ariane 6, which is a launch system developed and manufactured under the authority of the European Space Agency. And the German Aerospace Center also sent replies to their questions.

The excited teacher, Aimun, shared an update with the reactions the students had when she handed them the responses that all the space experts had sent in.

Twitter users found the thread of questions and answers very heartening, and some even felt emotional after reading it.

Many Pakistani tweeps also commended the teacher for thinking of putting the questions on Twitter. @smoodwrites replied: "I'm really glad you did this. I was a super space-curious kid... Pakistan needs more teachers like you."

Riaz Haq said...

THREAD - Shaheen-III SSBM by Shahid Raza


NESCOM's #ShaheenIII entered development in early 2000s. A Solid Fuel Missile, it was competing against Ghauri-III Liquid Fueled Missile by KRL. It was originally envisioned as a Space Launch Vehicle (SLV),but later evolved into a weapon system.

1: Its stated range is 2750km, that puts 100% of Indian territory within its strike range, including Nicobar Islands.

2: Its actual range can however be greater than the stated range. Pakistan normally under-states the ranges of its missiles for geopolitical reasons.

3: It gives Pakistan a highly advanced delivery system to deploy multiple nuclear warheads anywhere in Flag of India in a highly complex Ballistic Missile Defense environment, with next to no reaction time.

4: Its also compatible with the latest generation of Pakistan's nuclear warheads.

5: It provides Pakistan with full spectrum deterrence against a heavily armed adversary.

6: It also opens up the possibility for building a Space Launch Vehicle (SLV) for Space exploration, if and when the Govt decides to do so.

If you found this thread informative, do RT

Shaheen-III outperformed the Ghauri-III and the latter project was canceled in favour of Shaheen-III. The Missile completed its parliamentary phase of development in 2015 when its first test was carried out. After 5 years of further development, it has been tested today.

This test vehicle may have taken 5 years to develop, but it packs some ground breaking technology. It is believed that Shaheen-III is compatible with the Ababeel Multiple Independently Targetable Reentry Vehicle (MITREV), and its commissioned variant will be equipped with it.

It may also incorporate Beidu GPS guidance to drastically improve its Circular Error Probability (CEP), as well as Gas Thrusters installed on its Reentry Vehicle (RV) to maneuver the warhead during mid course, re entry phase to avid interception by Ballistic Missile interceptors.

With the inclusion of MITREV, GPS, Thrust Vectoring and high thrust rocket engines, the Shaheen-III SSBM is nearing commission into the Army Strategic Forces Command (ASFC).

Now that the technical jargon is out of the way let's discuss its implications.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan’s Successful Test Of 2,750-kilometer Shaheen-III #Missile: It can reach the farthest points of #India specially the Nicobar & Andaman Islands in Bay of Bengal. Its successful tests and flights open up the possibility of #space exploration– OpEd https://www.eurasiareview.com/18022021-pakistans-successful-test-of-shaheen-iii-missile-achieving-full-spectrum-deterrence-oped/

Quite recently, in January 2021, Pakistan has conducted a successful flight test of Shaheen-III ballistic missile, capable of carrying both nuclear and conventional payloads. It was first tested in 2015 and said to have a range of 2,750 kilometers. This enables it to reach the farthest points of India specially the Nicobar and Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. These Islands hold great strategic significance for India since they are believed to provide assured land-based second-strike options to India.

Similarly, they are also critical for Indian missile testing. Shaheen-III is a medium-range surface-to-surface two staged solid fueled missile equipped with Post Separation Altitude Correction (PSAC) system. Being a solid-fueled missile enables rapid response capability and PSAC allows it to have better trajectory and accuracy with the capability to evade the deployed ballistic missile defence (BMD) systems. Moreover, it can be launched through “Transporter Erector Launcher (TELs), which can move and hide. This makes the launcher more survivable as compared to the fixed launchers. As of now, the missile has not been operationally deployed.

This particular test was conducted by Pakistan to evaluate the design and technical parameters of the Shaheen-III weapon system. Moreover, the Arabian Sea was the point of impact. It was reiterated by Pakistan after the successful test that Pakistan’s nuclear capability is India-centric and the objective of its strategic capability is only to deter “any aggression” against the “sovereignty of Pakistan”. Missile tests in South Asia are routinely exercised as both countries are improving their capabilities of delivery vehicles to maintain the credibility of their deterrence forces. Moreover, they serve the purpose of “signaling” and “readiness” of forces. Just last year, India has conducted 17 missile tests, amid its growing tensions at its northern borders while Pakistan conducted only two missile tests. However, to avoid inadvertent escalation and accidents both countries have the agreement on informing each other before missiles tests. Moreover, Pakistan believes in peaceful co-existence in the region.

Defence analysts believe that the Shaheen-III missile system’s development started in the early 2000s and initially, it was envisaged as a “Space Launch Vehicle (SLV). Therefore its successful tests and flights open up the possibility of space exploration for Pakistan as well. It is also believed that Ababeel, a Multiple Independently re-entry targeted Vehicle (MIRV) missile, is also compatible with the designs of Shaheen-III and II. Ababeel, a three-staged, solid-fueled, medium-range surface-to-surface missile was tested by Pakistan back in January 2017. Successful tests of the Shaheen-III missile system would likely enable Pakistan to acquire MIRV technology to maintain a credible deterrence force vis-à-vis India. To ensure the effectiveness and accuracy of different re-entry vehicles going in different directions, Pakistan has bought large-scale “optical tracking and measurement systems” from China. These systems would allow Pakistan to record high-resolution images of the whole process of missile launch till its impact (launch, stage separation, tail flame, re-entry, and impact).

Riaz Haq said...

Who would live and who would die: The inside story of the Iranian attack on Al Asad Airbase - CBS News


In January 2020, when the U.S. launched a drone strike to kill Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, 2,000 American troops at Al Asad Airbase in Iraq braced for a retaliatory attack. They thought it probably would be a volley of rockets lobbed into their base, each carrying at most a 60-pound warhead.

Instead, Iran began moving ballistic missiles carrying warheads weighing more than 1,000 pounds into place for a full bombardment. An Army intelligence officer gave Major Alan Johnson his assessment of the Iranian threat: "Their intention is to level this base and we may not survive."

Like many Americans on the base, Johnson, 51, turned on his phone to record a final goodbye for his family: "Just know in your heart that I love you," he tearfully told his 6-year-old son. "Bye buddy."


Haines, head of the security forces protecting the base, was patrolling in his armored vehicle when the first missile hit just 75 yards away at 1:34 a.m.

It was like "old videos of Hiroshima," Haines said. "The bright light after it exploded, the cloud and the brightness."

The Iranian missiles continued in waves, and Americans left on the ground didn't know when another barrage was coming or where it might land

Johnson was knocked temporarily unconscious by the first blast. "The next thing I recall is our First Sergeant yelling at us . . . 'Everything's on fire. We gotta get out of here!' And that's when I realized, like, the fire was just rolling over the bunkers, you know, like 70 feet in the air . . . It's imperative we get out of the bunker or we're going to burn to death."

Johnson took off across open ground, sprinting for better cover when a loudspeaker blared out another alert: "Incoming! Incoming! Take Cover! Take Cover!" The missiles sounded like freight trains roaring by, he said.

"We get to the next bunker and realize there's roughly 40 people trying to stuff themselves into this bunker that's made for about 10 folks. . . I'm . . . the last person in line. . . and I grabbed the guy in front of me and, like, 'You got to get in the bunker!' and just like – shoved everybody in there."

Army Sergeant Kimo Keltz held his ground in a guard tower on the exposed perimeter of the base. One salvo hit just 30 yards away. Keltz curled into a fetal position to protect his vital organs. The blast wave lifted him two inches off the floor.

When it was over, Keltz and the other Americans emerged from their positions celebrating what seemed to be a miracle – no one was killed and there seemed to be no serious casualties. It would take hours, even days before they realized more than 100 soldiers and airmen suffered traumatic brain injury.

Keltz was one of them "because of how many blasts I took – within such a close radius of me."

Keltz's symptoms were like "someone hitting me over the head with a hammer over and over and over." Doctors have told him he has "concussive syndrome," a condition which may afflict him for the rest of his life.

Riaz Haq said...

The Shaheen 1 (Hatf 4) is a Pakistani-Chinese short-range ballistic missile. It can launch a payload of 700 – 1,000 kg to ranges of up to 700 km, and its extended-range variant, the Shaheen 1A, ranges up to 900 km.



Fateh-110 Development
Iran began developing the Fateh-110 in 1995. The missile is 8.86 m long, 0.61 m in diameter, and weighs 3,450 kg. It uses a single-stage solid propellant engine and has a range of 210 km (130 miles), although it is possible that Iran could add extra boosters in order to increase its range to 400 km (249 miles). It can carry a payload of some 500 kg and is most likely intended to deliver a high explosive, chemical, or submunitions warhead. The missile is also assumed to be nuclear / WMD capable.


Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan, China space cooperation being revved up
The Pakistani space programme did not witness as much growth as was expected and planned due to increased focus by the government on the nuclear programme

https://www.business-standard.com/article/international/pakistan-china-space-cooperation-being-revved-up-121100300522_1.html (Indian source)

Pakistan and China have been collaborating in the field of space technology for some time now. The progress made thus far by Pakistan in building its space infrastructure has been mainly a result of constant assistance from China, even though Pakistan had taken the initiative of setting up its Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) as early as in 1961 with a promising dream of building its own space architecture under the guidance and supervision of Abdus Salam -- a Pakistani physicist and Nobel Laureate, who is also the founder of the Pakistani space programme.

However, over the years, the Pakistani space programme did not witness as much growth as was expected and planned due to increased focus by the government on the nuclear programme. This led to shifting of scientific talent and resources towards Pakistan's nuclear programme.

Moreover, the years of governance by the military led to a lack of freedom and independence for scientists in Pakistan. Realization of prioritized objectives became the mainstay of the scientific community. Subsequently, with the signing of an agreement between the Chinese Ministry of Aerospace Industry and SUPARCO in 1991, the Pakistani space programme got more attention.

Over the years, one saw considerable exchanges between the two sides as the Pakistani space program saw progress and growth. China and Pakistan also signed a 2012-2020 roadmap for space cooperation between SUPARCO and the China National Space Administration (CNSA) in 2012. This agreement sets the pace for more intensive cooperation between the two sides.

Besides, the fact that China and Pakistan have signed an agreement on space exploration, China has also successfully launched two remote sensing satellites for Pakistan. There are also plans for Pakistan to send an astronaut to space with the help of China. The Chinese have also been assisting Pakistan in its Remote Sensing Satellite project.

According to reliable inputs, SUPARCO is in the process of acquiring Satellite Image Telemetry Service and Associated Ground Station for High-Resolution Optical Satellite Constellation. In this regard, a Chinese entity M/s China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), has come forward in cooperating with SUPARCO. The technical proposal submitted by the company is presently under consideration before being finalized. Earlier, in August 2020, SUPARCO was in the process of procuring High-Resolution Optical Satellite imagery data and its telemetry services, and the Chinese company M/s China Volant Industries Co. Ltd. (VOLINCO) had come forward with assistance.

Pakistan has also been exploring the possibility of cooperation with other countries in the space sector with the aim of modernizing and advancing its space programme. In this connection, a three-member delegation from SUPARCO was scheduled to visit (September 5) Bucharest to meet officials of M/s Airbus Defence and Space. The delegation, led by Zafar Iqbal, Member, Space Application Research Wing, was also to discuss possible areas of bilateral cooperation with Romania in the field of Space Sciences,Technology & Applications. M/s Airbus Defence and Space, Romania, established in 2005, is a subsidiary of M/s Airbus that provides a full spectrum of defence & space products and related services.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan, China space cooperation being revved up
The Pakistani space programme did not witness as much growth as was expected and planned due to increased focus by the government on the nuclear programme

https://www.business-standard.com/article/international/pakistan-china-space-cooperation-being-revved-up-121100300522_1.html (Indian source)

Pakistan has also been exploring the possibility of cooperation with other countries in the space sector with the aim of modernizing and advancing its space programme. In this connection, a three-member delegation from SUPARCO was scheduled to visit (September 5) Bucharest to meet officials of M/s Airbus Defence and Space. The delegation, led by Zafar Iqbal, Member, Space Application Research Wing, was also to discuss possible areas of bilateral cooperation with Romania in the field of Space Sciences,Technology & Applications. M/s Airbus Defence and Space, Romania, established in 2005, is a subsidiary of M/s Airbus that provides a full spectrum of defence & space products and related services.

Space programmes are of enormous value for a developing nation especially in the context of peaceful uses of space technology which can contribute towards climate monitoring, agriculture science, socio-economic sector, urban planning etc. However, Pakistan has always been seeking a competitive edge over India in every sphere and the high degree of insecurity that prevails in the Pakistani establishment vis-a-vis India has undoubtedly led to a strong defence centric focus of its space programme.

With China's assistance, Pakistan would have been inevitably working towards proactively building the framework of a defence oriented space programme. This is an area that will warrant close watch by the international community as behind the scene cooperation between China and Pakistan can lead to damaging outcomes, especially since Pakistan's core objective in expanding its space and nuclear programmes has been to remain a step ahead, if not at par, of India.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan tests home-grown cruise missile with longer range.#Nuclear capable #Babur #cruise #missile tested on Tuesday has a range of more than 900 kilometers (560 miles), twice the distance of an earlier version of the same model. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pakistan-tests-home-grown-missile-with-additional-range/2021/12/21/650d90be-6248-11ec-9b51-7131fa190c5e_story.html?tid=ss_tw

Pakistan’s military test-fired a home-grown Babur cruise missile on Tuesday that has a range of more than 900 kilometers (560 miles), twice the distance of an earlier missile of the same model, a statement said.

The missile’s extended range further enhances nuclear-armed Pakistan’s military capability.

Pakistan and neighbor India, which also has a nuclear arsenal, have a volatile relationship, having fought three wars against each other. The military buildup of both countries is closely watched by a nervous international community as India and Pakistan have come dangerously close to a fourth war at least twice over the last two decades.

The missile, dubbed the Babur Cruise Missile 1B, is domestically developed, said the military statement. An earlier version had the limited capacity to travel just 450 kilometers (280 miles).

Riaz Haq said...

Turkish Aerospace, Pakistan to jointly develop satellite projects | Daily Sab


Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) signed a cooperation agreement with Pakistan's Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) on Wednesday to develop space and satellite projects.

Turkish defense giant TAI and SUPARCO will carry out joint studies on electric communication satellites and other space projects within the scope of the agreement.

"We have signed a cooperation deal with the SUPARCO to develop satellite projects. We wish good luck for the two countries,” said TAI in a statement on Twitter.

In Dec. 2019, TAI opened its first office in Pakistan at the country's National Science and Technology Park.

Speaking at the Satellite Technologies Week held in December, TAI CEO Temel Kotil said that they are looking for new customers for the SmallGEO satellite, a telecommunications satellite platform that works with an electric propulsion system.

“It looks like we found a customer, but we don't share it because it has not been finalized. If it does, we will build three more satellites. A fourth customer also showed up. When these are finalized, we will reach five satellites in total,” said Kotil, adding that if TAI made these satellites in three or four years, Turkey would be able to achieve a good figure in satellite exports.

Turkey inked its first satellite export deal with an Argentinian company in August at the International Defense Industries Fair (IDEF) held in Istanbul.

Recently, TAI also signed a memorandum of understanding on space and satellite systems with El Salvador during President Nayib Bukele's Turkey visit last week.

Riaz Haq said...

China To Build #Space Centre, More #Satellites For #Pakistan. #China has provided space product & #technology cooperation, satellite carrying or launching services for many countries like #SaudiArabia, Pakistan,#Argentina, #Brazil, #Canada and #Luxembourg.


Full Text: China's Space Program: A 2021 Perspective


"It will give priority to developing communications satellites for Pakistan and to cooperating on the construction of the Pakistan Space Center and Egypt's Space City"

"China has increased the BeiDou system's global service capacity by establishing BeiDou cooperation forum mechanisms with the League of Arab States and the African Union, completing the first overseas BeiDou center in Tunisia, and conducting satellite navigation cooperation with countries such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, South Africa, Algeria, and Thailand"


Together with relevant partners China has developed and successfully launched the China-France Oceanography Satellite, China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite 04A, and the Ethiopian Remote-Sensing Satellite. It has launched the Student Small Satellites (SSS) for APSCO. It is jointly developing the MisrSat-2 remote-sensing satellite.

· China completed the in-orbit delivery of the Pakistan Remote-Sensing Satellite (PRSS-1), Venezuelan Remote-Sensing Satellite (VRSS-2), Sudan Remote-Sensing Satellite (SRSS-1), and the Algerian Communications Satellite (Alcomsat-1).

· China has provided satellite carrying or launching services for countries including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, and Luxembourg.

· China has conducted space product and technology cooperation with countries including Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Argentina, Pakistan, and Nigeria.

· China has helped developing countries boost their space science and research. It has built satellite research and development infrastructure with countries including Egypt, Pakistan and Nigeria. It has pressed ahead with the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative Space Information Corridor, and opened China's space facilities to developing countries.

Riaz Haq said...

China's CNSA To Help Asia’s Oldest Space Agency SUPARCO With Satellites


While Beijing and Islamabad have a space exploration agreement, China has formally confirmed for the first time that it will assist Pakistan in the construction of what is being dubbed the Pakistan Space Centre (PSC). PSC is expected to produce satellites.

According to a white paper, China will “provide priority to producing communications satellites for Pakistan and cooperating on the establishment of the Pakistan Space Centre.”

Islamabad announced plans in 2018 to construct the PSC to spearhead indigenous satellite development and manufacture, according to the Associated Press of Pakistan, a state-owned news agency.

APP said that the PSC will be capable of manufacture, testing, system-level assembly, integration, launch, and operations of numerous types of satellites.


Meet Pakistan's Space Innovator - Bloomberg


Meet Pakistan's Space Innovator
"We're out to change mindsets and that is not something easy." Meet Zartaj Ahmed. The engineer-turned-educator wants to transform the way STEM is taught in Pakistan through her space science education center. (Source: Bloomberg)

Riaz Haq said...

Turkey close to securing space technology agreements with Pakistan, Azerbaijan
Turkey has expressed intentions to cooperate with Pakistan and Azerbaijan in the field of space technology.


“Our contracts with Azerbaijan and Pakistan in the field of space activities are ready, we have reached the stage of signing,” Turkish Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank was quoted as saying by APA.

The minister said Turkey is at the signing stage of agreements with space agencies of Pakistan and Azerbaijan to improve collaboration in the use of space for civilian purposes which requires international cooperation.

Meanwhile, on February 9, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the country’s ambitious 10-year national space program which includes sending Turkish astronauts into space, developing a new generation of satellites, building a spaceport, and reaching the Moon by 2023 which is the primary and most important mission of the program. In January 2021, SpaceX launched a Turkish communications satellite into orbit.

Pakistan, Turkey and Azerbaijan recently entered into a new phase of a strategic partnership with the visits of Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov to Islamabad last month.

The three friendly countries announced to improve collaboration in political, strategic, economic, security, science, and technology fields. The collaboration in space technology will take the partnership to a new level as the future of space will be marked by collaboration.

Pakistan launched its first communications satellite PAKSAT-1R in August 2011 that marked the defining moment in the country’s space program. In 2018, Pakistan launched a remote-sensing (PRSS-1) satellite and a technology evaluation satellite (PakTES-1A) after SUPARCO and the China Great Wall Industrial Cooperation signed a space cooperation agreement.

In 2014, Pakistan became the first foreign country to shift to the China-based GPS system called BeiDou which reduces dependency on Global Positioning System (GPS) by the United States in both civil and military sectors.

Collaboration with China and now Turkey will greatly benefit Pakistan to meet the goals of Pakistan’s Space Program 2047 and the country’s future scientific requirements.