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 the only nuclear-capable air launch missile in the Pakistani missile inventory. The development of this missile dates back to early 2000. In 2007, Pakistan Air Force officially announced that it had conducted a Flight test of the country’s first ALCM. That test was conducted by dropping Raad-I ALCM from Mirage-III EA aircraft.
Three Pakistani state-owned facilities played a vital role in Raad Cruise Missile’s development. Those facilities include
- Air Weapons Complex (AWC)
- National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM)
- National Defence Complex (NDC)
Raad ALCM is powered by a 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 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 shallow 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.