Pakistan’s Missiles: Shaheen II Ballistic Missile


Pakistan conducted successfully a training launch test of surface-to-surface ballistic missile Shaheen-II on 23 May 2019 aimed at ensuring the operational readiness of its nuclear forces.

Shaheen-II is a highly capable missile that fully meets Pakistan’s strategic needs towards the maintenance of desired deterrence stability in the region. The missile is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads.

Shaheen-II is Pakistan’s second longest-range ballistic missile system with a range of 1500-2000 Km. It is a two-stage solid-fuel missile that can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads.

Pakistan first displayed the Shaheen 2 was in March 2000 and conducted its first flight test in March 2004. Several subsequent tests have taken place, with a final “training launch” occurring in November 2014, after which the missile became operational.

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Its separating warhead is thought to feature four small motors to improve accuracy; the missile’s accuracy is estimated at 350 m circular error probable (CEP) It is launched from a transporter-erector-launcher (TEL)

It is also considered that Shaheen II is a Pakistani version of the Chinese M-18, originally shown at the 1987 Beijing Air Show as a two-stage missile with a 1,000 km range carrying a 400-500 kg payload. However, there is no indication that China had transferred such missiles to Pakistan.

A ballistic missile, according to the Federation of American Scientists, has a ballistic trajectory throughout the majority of its flight route. As is, once the missile’s propellant is used, the missile continues to move in the same manner that a bullet does after being shot from a gun.

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The missile’s direction cannot be changed after the fuel is depleted. It takes a route dictated by the speed with which it launched and the force of gravity pulling it back toward the Earth’s surface. Gravity eventually directs the missile — and its payload, which may be an explosion, a chemical or biological weapon, or a nuclear bomb — toward its intended target.

The Germans deployed a ballistic missile called the V-2 to strike London during World War II, which was the first-time ballistic missiles were utilized. Because the V-2s soared too high into the upper atmosphere and moved too quickly, the British were unable to stop them.

With the aid of captured German technology and scientists, the United States developed its own arsenal of even more powerful intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) capable of wreaking nuclear havoc on targets after the war.

Now not only do Pakistan and India have ballistic missiles but also other countries such as Iran, North Korea, etc have built up large arsenals of Ballistic Missiles.


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Syed Ali Abbas
Syed Ali Abbas is a Research Assistant at the Center for International Strategic Studies Islamabad and President of Global Defense Insight. He tweets @smalinaqvi05.


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