Pakistani military personnel stand beside short-range Surface to Surface Missile NASR during the Pakistan Day military parade in Islamabad on March 23, 2015. Pakistan held its first national day military parade for seven years, a display of pageantry aimed at showing the country has the upper hand in the fight against the Taliban. Mobile phone networks in the capital were disabled to thwart potential bomb attacks, some roads were closed to the public and much of the city was under heavy guard for the event. AFP PHOTO/ Aamir QURESHI

Development

The Hatf-9 or Nasr is short-range ballistic missile with a range of 60 km developed by Pakistan. The Hatf-9 is solid fueled as well as being road mobile. [1] However, this missile is not operationally deployed. First flight tested on April 19th, 2011, it was subsequently tested in May 2012 and February 2013. [2] It was successfully tested in November of 2013 however while deemed nuclear-capable there has not been a test with a nuclear warhead. [3] It is considered to be a quick response unit, and has the capability to launch 4 missiles from a multi-tube launcher. [4]Furthermore, due to this test, Pakistani military officials are considering making the Hatf-9 an operational part of the Pakistani military. [5]

Strategic Implications

The short range and warhead of this missile indicates that Pakistan is developing a tactical nuclear weapon. [6] This weapon would be developed in order to counter the Indian conventional army not unlike NATO’s force planned to counter a Soviet tank invasion. [7] India on the other hand, does not have such small tactical nuclear weapons. [8]

References

[1]   “Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat,” 2013, accessed July 2, 2014,  http://www.afisr.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-130710-054.pdf .

[2] Rajaram Nagappa, Arun Vishwanathan, and Aditi Malhotra, “Hatf-Ix/nasr Pakistan’s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: Implications for Ind0-Pak Deterrence,” International Strategic and Security Studies Programme, July 31, 2013, accessed July 2, 2014, http://isssp.in/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/R17-2013_NASR_Final.pdf .

[3] Usman Ansarri, “Experts: Missile Test Firing Shows Development Complete,” Defense News, November 6, 2013, accessed July 2, 2014,  http://www.defensenews.com/article/20131106/DEFREG03/311060029/Experts-Missile-Test-Firing-Shows-Development-Complete .

[4] Ibid

[5] Ibid

[6]   Ali Ahmed, “Pakistan’s Nuclear Capable Missile,” The Diplomant, August 24, 2011, accessed July 2, 2014,http://thediplomat.com/2011/08/pakistans-nuclear-capable-missile/?allpages=yes .

[7] Ibid

[8] Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris, “Pakistan’s Nuclear Forces,” Bulletin for the Atomic Scientists, 2011, accessed July 8, 2014,  http://bos.sagepub.com/content/67/4/91 .

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