Air Weapons: Pakistani Cruise Missiles

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April 13, 2017: During a March 23rd parade Pakistan showed off the Raad 2 ALCM (air launched cruise missile) for the first time. It appeared to be the same size and shape of the original Raad but with a longer range of 550 kilometers. The original Raad had a range of 350 kilometers. Also called Hatf 8, Raad is a 1.1 ton, 4.85 meter (16 foot) long missile that entered service in 2007. Raad did not use pop-out wings like Western cruise missiles and its design is based more on Russian Cold War era ASMs (air-to-surface missiles).

A more familiar cruise missile is the Pakistani Babur (Hatf 7), which entered service in 2005. This is a larger 1.5 ton, 7 meter (23 foot) long GLCM (ground launched cruise missile) with a 500 kilometers range and by 2007 range was extended to 700 kilometers. Like the American Tomahawk cruise missile Babur used terrain following and GPS for guidance. In late 2016 Babur 2 entered service. It had a range of 750 kilometers and an improved guidance system that could be used without GPS and was able to attack ships at sea. Raad and Babur can both carry nuclear warheads.

In January 2017 Babur 3, a submarine launched version, entered service. This version has a range of 450 kilometers and can carry a nuclear warhead. Babur uses 1980s era technology pioneered by the United States with their Tomahawk. This novel 1.3 ton American cruise missile entered service in 1983 and air and sea launched versions are still used. The GLCM version never entered service. Ranges varied from 1,300 t0 2,500 kilometers. The Tomahawk is widely imitated because it does not use any exotic tech breakthroughs.

 


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