Pakistan has test fired the Short Range Surface-to-Surface Multi Tube Ballistic Missile `Hatf IX’ NASR on Tuesday. Hatf IX NASR has a range of 60 kilometers and can carry both tactical nuclear warheads and conventional warheads. Two Hatf IX NASR Ballistic Missiles can be carried by a single transporter erector launcher (TEL).
Hatf IX NASR is a quick response system which has “shoot-and-scoot’’ nuclear delivery capability. Control surfaces behind the nose and at the tail of the Hatf IX NASR help in improving the missile's aerodynamic lift, stability and maneuverability during its whole flight.
Missile is powered by a high thrust, single stage solid propellant rocket motor which allows the NASR missile to accerlate very quickly and maintains a high speed.
Missile appears to be using an electro optical homing seeker for terminal guidance to achieve extremely low Circular Error Probable (CEP). CEP is used to measure the accuracy of the missile. CEP is the radius of a circle around the target in which 50% of the warheads aimed at that target will land.
Strategic analysts are calling the Hatf IX NASR as Pakistan’s answer to the Indian Cold Start Doctrine. Test of this missile is considered to be Pakistan’s way of saying that Pakistani scientists have developed the plutonium based tactical nuclear warheads with very low yields. Tactical nuclear warheads can be used by the Pakistan army in the battlefield to deterrent the larger Indian conventional land forces which has in last few years emphasized on the Cold Start Doctrine. Cold Start Doctrine calls for the rapid deployment of Indian armed forces against Pakistan to achieve surprise attacks.
Previously it was thought that Pakistan lacks the tactical nuclear warheads which allowed India to think that it can exploit this weakness and assumed that it will be extremely difficult for the Pakistan to resort to the nuclear weapons in case of Indian conventional attacks.
Test of the Hatf IX’ NASR has not only ended that ambiguity but also effectively ended the Indian day dreams of its hunger for limited war against Pakistan through its Cold Start strategy without raising the possibility of use of Nuclear warheads.
Director General of the Strategic Plans Division Khalid Ahmed Kidwai said the successful test flight of the quick response `Hatf IX’ NASR Ballistic Missile. System is capable of handling the evolving threats and it has consolidated Pakistan’s strategic deterrence capability at all levels of the threat spectrum.