Pakistan has conducted a successful flight test of its Ra’ad-II Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM), the country’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement on Tuesday.
Ra’ad-II ALCM, with a range of 600 Km, significantly enhances Pakistan’s air delivered strategic standoff capability on land and at sea. The weapon system is equipped with state of the art guidance and navigation systems ensuring the engagement of targets with high precision, according to ISPR.
The video of the fight-test showed the missile being dropped from an aircraft, likely a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Mirage III ROSE fighter aircraft, before engaging a predesignated target.
The successful flight test was witnessed by Lieutenant General Nadeem Zaki Manj, Director General Strategic Plans Division, Dr. Nabeel Hayat Malik, Chairman NESCOM, senior officers from Strategic Plans Division, Strategic Forces and Strategic Organizations.
Director General Strategic Plans Division appreciated the technical prowess, dedication, and commitment of scientists and engineers who contributed whole-heartedly to develop the weapon system and making this launch a success. He also termed it “a major step towards complementing Pakistan’s deterrence capability”.
The President, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and Services Chiefs have congratulated the Scientists and Engineers on the successful conduct of the missile test.
Ra’ad-II (Urdu: “Thunder II”) is the extended-range Mark II variant of the Hatf-VIII (Ra’ad) ALCM developed by Pakistan’s Air Weapons Complex (AWC) and National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM). The missile is designed to carry both conventional or nuclear warheads.
The first test of the missile was conducted on 25 August 2007 and the second test was conducted on 8 May 2008, when it was fired from a Dassault Mirage III ROSE fighter of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). A third test was carried out on 29 April 2011 from a Mirage and the fourth test on 30 May 2012. A fifth test of the missile was conducted on 2 Feb 2015 and the seventh test on 19 January 2016.
Though initial tests have been conducted from a PAF Dassault Mirage III ROSE combat aircraft there is potential to integrate this missile with PAF’s other platforms such as the PAC JF-17 Thunder (CAC FC-1 Xiaolong) multi-role combat aircraft.