Hatf-VIII (Raad) is an Air-Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM). It has a range of 600 kilometers & can carry Conventional as well as Nuclear warheads. In 2007, Ra’ad was successfully tested using PAF’s Mirage-III EA. Ra’ad’s design is very different from the land-based Babur Cruise Missile. This missile system is co-developed by NESCOM and Air Weapons Complex (AWC).
Some specifications of the Ra’ad Missile (Raad-I) includes:
- Length: 4.85 m
- Diameter: 0.5 m
- Type (By speed): Subsonic
- Propulsion: Turbojet
Ra’ad Missile Tests
- 25th August 2007
- 8th May 2008
- 29th April 2011
- 30th May 2012
- 2nd February 2015
- 19th January 2016
- 18th February 2020 (Ra’ad II) (Range 600 km)
It is highly effective against the Indian Ballistic Missile Defense System such as “S-400”.
According to sources, Raad Missile possesses the following capabilities:
- Terrain Hugging
- Pinpoint accuracy
Its stealth configuration makes it difficult for enemy radars to detect it. Terrain Hugging allows it to penetrate deep inside enemy territory without hitting any building or mountain. All these capabilities made it very lethal against the enemy.
According to the CISS based researcher, Dr. Mansoor Ahmad,
Ra’ad-II “will significantly enhance the operational and targeting flexibility of the air leg of Pakistan’s strategic forces.” “It gives enhanced capability for precision strikes against critical military targets on land and at sea from safer standoff ranges. With its extended range, hitherto invulnerable sites, forces and assets can now be taken out with greater precision that were previously only covered by Pakistan’s ballistic missiles,”
Raad Missile poses a serious threat to Enemy air defense batteries, command and control centers, underground bunkers, air bases, stationary enemy ships, etc.
It is integrated with the French-made Mirage III/V, while Pakistan is also working on its design so it could be integrated with Pakistan’s developed JF-17 fighter jet.
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.
Pakistan has been increasingly focusing on modernizing its nuclear assets as a regional balance has been changing since the return of great power rivalry. Pakistan has also declared its nuclear deterrence from credible minimum deterrence to full-spectrum deterrence.
It has been continuously working on updating its nuclear inventory in response to India’s modernization. It has also achieved a nuclear triad, thus giving it second-strike capabilities.
Pakistan has successfully kept its mature institutional structure to develop and safeguard nuclear assets. It has dedicated more than 20,000 members force safeguarding nuclear assets from all threats.
However, it is not just Pakistan and India focusing on nuclear, other great powers including the US, China and Russia have all in recent years started more advanced testing.