In a major development on Monday, the Pakistan military confirmed that it had successfully tested a submarine launched nuclear-capable cruise missile (SLCM), the Babur III. In a public statement, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) department noted that the Babur III SLCM has a range of 450 kilometres and “will provide Pakistan with a Credible Second Strike Capability, augmenting deterrence.”
While the release was silent about the submarine platform to which Babur III will be integrated, press reports suggest that the Pakistan Navy’s Agosta 90B class — the so-called Khalid class — submarines are a natural existing platform of choice; these submarines have cruise-missile launch capabilities. The SLCM itself is a variant of the land-launched cruise-missile (LLCM) system, Babur II. Pakistan had tested an enhanced version of this LLCM mid-December last year.
The military said the missile had features such as “underwater controlled propulsion and advanced guidance and navigation”.
Why Babur III is Important?
Last year, Pakistan said it was “seriously concerned” by India’s test of anti-ballistic missiles which media reports said could intercept incoming nuclear weapons. According to media reports, on May 15 India tested a locally designed Anti-Ballistic Missile system which could in theory intercept a nuclear-carrying ballistic missile.With the successful test of the Babur III SLCM, Pakistan is now a step closer to a functional nuclear triad, albeit in a very limited way.
Indian experts says test launch is fake
After Pakistan proudly announced the launch of the nuclear-capable Babur-3 cruise missile, reports today suggested that Islamabad may have faked the launch video.
Experts, including a satellite imagery analyst based in Pathankot, have put out technical evidence to suggest that Pakistan has faked the missile video and used computer graphics to depict much of the weapon’s flight.
Colonel (retired) Vinayak Bhat, an imagery expert, has told India Today TV that the video of the launch released by the Pakistan Army appears to be computer-generated. He also said the colour of the missile changes from white to orange in the video released by Pakistan. Even the speed of the missile is impossibly high (Missile moves 15 km in 8 sec speed 6750 kph), he said.