This handout image released on February 2, 2015 by Pakistan's Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) office shows a Pakistani nuclear-capable Ra'ad cruise missile after being launched from a jet fighter during a test firing at an undisclosed location in Pakistan. Pakistan on February 2 test-fired a cruise missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, just over a week after its arch-rival India reached a new civilian nuclear accord with the United States. AFP PHOTO / INTER SERVICES PUBLIC RELATIONS -----EDITORS NOTE---- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / INTER SERVICES PUBLIC RELATIONS" ---- NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----------

Development

The Ra’ad or Hatf-8 is a land attack Cruise Missile with a range of 350km. [1] The Ra’ad is reportedly capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads. [2] The Pakistani government claims that the Ra’ad was indigenously developed, although some reports indicate that there may have been foreign assistance though its unknown whom. [3] The cruise missile was first tested in August 2007 off a test jet though the results are unpublished.  It was successfully tested in April of 2011. [4] The Ra’ad has been described as being “stealth capable” and having “pinpoint accuracy”. [5] Furthermore, it is described as terrain hugging as well as highly maneuverable. [6] Currently this missile is planned to be attached to Mirage aircraft or F-16 fighters. [7]

Strategic Implications

Pakistani officials have stated that the Ra’ad will increase the Pakistani military’s “stand-off” capability. [8]This means that Pakistan would be able to engage enemy forces with reduced risk to their own personnel. [9] The development of a nuclear capable cruise missile is evident of Pakistan’s focus on tactical nuclear weapons. [10]This tactical doctrine would allow Pakistan to more credibly deter a conventional attack from India.   [11]Furthermore, the development of the Ra’ad could be seen as an attempt to match India’s BrahMos cruise missile.

References

[1] “Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat,” Air Force ISR Agency, 2013, accessed July 8, 2014,http://www.afisr.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-130710-054.pdf.

[2] Ibid

[3] “Country Profile Pakistan: Missiles,” Nuclear Threat Initiative, accessed July 8, 2014,  http://www.nti.org/country-profiles/pakistan/delivery-systems/ .

[4] 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 .

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Shane Mason, “Pakistan’s Babur and Ra’ad Cruise Missiles: Strategic Implications for India,” Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, July, 2012, accessed July 9, 2014,  http://www.ipcs.org/article/india/pakistans-babur-and-raad-cruise-missiles-strategic-implications-for-india-3681.html .

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.

[12] “Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat,” Air Force ISR Agency, accessed July 3, 2014,http://www.afisr.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-130710-054.pdf.

[13] Richard Fisher, “Pakistan’s Long Range Ballistic Missiles: A View from Ideas,” International Assessment and Strategy Center, November 1, 2004, accessed July 8, 2014,http://www.strategycenter.net/research/pubid.47/pub_detail.asp.

[14] Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris, “Pakistan’s Nuclear Forces,” Bul, 2011, accessed July 9, 2014,http://bos.sagepub.com/content/67/4/91.

[15] “Ghaznavi/shaheen-Ii – Pakistan Missile Special Weapons Delivery System,” Federation of American Scientists, accessed July 9, 2014,  http://fas.org/nuke/guide/pakistan/missile/shaheen-2.htm .

[16] Richard Fisher, “Pakistan’s Long Range Ballistic Missiles: A View from Ideas,” International Assessment and Strategy Center, November 1, 2004, accessed July 8, 2014,http://www.strategycenter.net/research/pubid.47/pub_detail.asp.

[17] “Ghaznavi/shaheen-Ii – Pakistan Missile Special Weapons Delivery System,” Federation of American Scientists, accessed July 9, 2014,  http://fas.org/nuke/guide/pakistan/missile/shaheen-2.htm .

[18]   “Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat,” Air Force ISR Agency, accessed July 3, 2014,http://www.afisr.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-130710-054.pdf.

[19] Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris, “Pakistan’s Nuclear Forces,” Bul, 2011, accessed July 9, 2014,http://bos.sagepub.com/content/67/4/91 .

[20] Reshmi Kazi, “Shaheen-Ii Test: Ramifications for India,” Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, March 18, 2004, accessed July 9, 2014,  http://www.ipcs.org/article/defence/shaheen-ii-test-ramifications-for-india-1345.html .

[21] Ibid.

[22] Ibid.

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