PN Possibly on the Brink of Developing Naval Nuclear Missile Capability

PN Possibly on the Brink of Developing Naval Nuclear Missile Capability

Based on the latest reports from Pakistan the Pakistan Navy (PN) may be on the brink of developing a naval nuclear missile capability, even as its plans for acquiring a nuclear submarine capability gradually become clearer, IDSA writes.

This was confirmed by the first testing of the Hatf  VII (Babur)—an indigenously developed Cruise Missile with high precision and maneuverability, Pakistan conducted in May 2012. The said missile is said to be launched from a state-of-the-art multi-tube Missile Launch Vehicle (MLV), which facilitates improvement of targeting and employment options of the Babur Weapon System. This is the third test of the Babur in the recent past, of different capacities and loads.

Nevertheless, it remains unclear whether Pakistan’s capability to design and develop a sea-based nuclear missile is realistic. Even with the help of China to develop nuclear capabilities, Pakistan does not have a credible submarine-launched missile.  On the other hand, the chances for this to become reality are even more fragile without the assistance from China.

Aside to the needed technological assistance from China the project development requires considerable financial support from the country.

It took a great deal of effort on the part of PN’s senior serving and retired naval officers to persuade the security establishment as well as the general public of the necessity of a nuclear submarine capability to be funded appropriately.

However, possessing a nuclear submarine is not the end of the story. There are various financial costs when it comes to developing and operating a nuclear submarine, such as constant refinement of equipment and training of personnel, followed by razor-sharp communications and command in addition to control systems and mastering safety procedures.

Naval Today Staff, July 3, 2012; Image: PN