Raad is an Air-Launch Cruise Missile (ALCM)designed and developed by Pakistan. Currently, there are two versions of Raad ALCM active-in-service with Pakistan’s Air Force Strategic Command. Pakistan conducted initial flight tests of Raad-1 ALCM in 2007.
Raad is only nuclear capable air launch missile in Pakistani missile inventary. Development of this missile dates back to early 2000. In 2007, Pakistan Air Force officially announced that it has conducted a Flight test of country’s first ALCM. That test was conducted by dropping Raad-I ALCM from Mirage-III EA aircraft.
Three Pakistani state owned facilities played vital role in the development of Raad Cruise Missile. Those facilities includes
- Air Weapons Complex (AWC)
- National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM)
- National Defence Complex (NDC)
Raad ALCM is powered by turbojet engine and possesses a “low-altitude, terrain hugging” flight profile and “pinpoint accuracy,” suggesting the presence of an active guidance system.
- Range: 600 Kilometers
- Length: 4.85 meters
- Diameter: 0.5 meter
- Warhead: High Explosives (HE), Nuclear, Conventional
Cruise missiles are a form of a strategic guided missile that flies at a low altitude. The German V-1 missile, which was employed in World War II, was a forerunner to the cruise missile, which was developed in the 1960s and 1970s by the United States and the Soviet Union.
The cruise missile was designed to have a very low radar cross-section and to hug the ground while traveling at a very moderate pace to its target, and it is capable of carrying either a nuclear or conventional payload.