Air Weapons: Two And A Half Pakistani Cruise Missiles

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February 24, 2015: Pakistan recently announced the successful test of its second cruise missile design, the Hatf 8 (Raad). Hatf 8 appears to be an original design, first tested in 2007, that weighs 1.1 tons and has a range of 350 kilometers. It can carry a nuclear or conventional warhead.

Pakistan’s first cruise missile was the Hatf 7 (Barbur), which was first tested in 2005. Hatf 7 appeared to be a copy of the American Tomahawk, (several of which had crashed on Pakistani territory during a 1998 American attack on Taliban camps in Afghanistan). The Tomahawk was not terribly high tech, and easy for the Pakistanis to copy. GPS made it easier to replace the earlier (and only high tech aspect of the missile) terrain following guidance system. Hatf 7 is a 1.5 ton, 6.8 meter (22 foot) long missile has a range of 500 kilometers. It appears to carry a 225 kg (500 pound) warhead, and the Pakistanis appear to have developed a nuclear weapon that fits in Hatf 7. This missile can be used from ships or aircraft.

Another Pakistani cruise missile was not publicized much at all. In 2009 the United States accused Pakistan of stealing military technology by modifying American made Harpoon anti-ship missiles (received in the late 1980s) to attack land targets. The 545 kg (1,200 pound) Harpoon has a 221 kg (487 pound) warhead and a range of 220 kilometers. It approaches the target low, at about 860 kilometers an hour. GPS gets the missile to the general vicinity of the target, then radar takes over to identify and hit the target. The Harpoon has successful combat experience going back to the 1980s. Most Indian warships (corvettes and frigates) are small enough to be destroyed by one Harpoon. The modified Harpoons can hit land targets like air defense radars or headquarters.

 


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