Strategic Weapons: Pakistan's Solid Line Up


December5, 2006: Last month, Pakistan conducted another successful test of its Hatf IV (Shaheen-I) missile. Weighing 9.5 tons, and carrying a one ton warhead, the missile has a range of 700 kilometers. The Shaheen-I entered service in 2003, and is apparently a variant of the Chinese DF-9 missile. Pakistan is believed to have received the solid fuel DF-9 in the 1990s, and has modified it somewhat.

What's remarkable about Pakistan is that it now has a full range of solid fuel rockets. The 1.5 ton Hatf I, which appeared in 1989, has a range of 80 kilometers and a half ton warhead. Also showing up in 1989, the 2.5 ton Hatf II has a range of 180 kilometers, and also carries a half ton warhead. The four ton Hatf III, which was first tested earlier this year, appears to be based on the Chinese DF-11. China has long been selling military technology to Pakistan. This missile has a range of some 300 kilometers and also carries a half ton warhead.

Pakistan began producing the Hatf IV in the late 1990s, although it was not tested until 1999. The design appears to be well thought out, for the Hatf IV has had several successful tests. It's not known if Pakistan has a nuclear warhead of equal reliability. Such warheads are difficult to design, manufacture and test.




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