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.