Artillery: A Novel 3 TEL


November 11, 2011: Pakistan recently ran a successful test of its 1.5 ton Haft VII cruise missile. This time the test was from a new, three missile transporter/erector/launcher (TEL). This TEL replaces the previous four missile launcher. The three-missile launcher was designed for "shoot and scoot." That means that the launcher can quickly launch a missile, return the missile canister to the horizontal position and move out of the area. This is because radars and other sensors can quickly spot where a missile is launched vertically, and attack the missile transporter.

With a range of 700 kilometers, Hatf VII is based on the American Tomahawk cruise missile. Pakistan collected a lot of information on Tomahawk after several of them crashed in Pakistan in 1998 during a mass cruise missile attack on al Qaeda in Afghanistan. The Hatf VII was first tested in 2005, and has been adapted for use from aircraft and ships.

There are seven missiles in the Hatf series and all were developed in the last twenty years. The smallest of these is the 1.5 ton Hatf I, which appeared in 1989, has a range of 80 kilometers and a half ton warhead. Also showing up in 1989, the 2.5 ton Hatf II has a range of 180 kilometers, and also carries a half ton warhead. The four ton Hatf III has a range of some 300 kilometers and also carries a half ton warhead. The Hatf IV, weighing 9.5 tons, and carrying a one ton warhead, has a range of 700 kilometers. The sixteen ton Hatf V is the only remaining liquid fuel missile. First tested in 1998, it has a range of some 2,000 kilometers and carries a .7 ton warhead. However, this missile will probably be quickly replaced by the recently tested Hatf VI. This missile was first publicly displayed in 2000, but has apparently undergone more years of development. The Hatf VI has had several successful tests lately, and has a maximum range (with the proper guidance system) of 2,500 kilometers.

Pakistan has imported a lot of Chinese and North Korean missile technology, and has bought missile components from both countries.