Naval Weapons

Pakistan Navy flexes land attack capabilities in Arabian Sea

23 April 2019

PNS Himmat firing the ‘Harbah’ missile in January 2018. The ship conducted a similar test-firing of the missile in April 2019. Source: Pakistan Navy

Key Points

  • The Pakistan Navy has conducted another test-firing of an indigenously developed cruise missile
  • The weapon is being tested amid heightened tensions with India over the long-standing Kashmir dispute

The Pakistan Navy has conducted another test-firing of what appears to be a shipborne variant of an indigenously developed cruise missile.

The weapon was fired from its latest Azmat-class patrol craft, PNS Himmat (1027), in the North Arabian Sea, the Pakistan Armed Forces' official media communications group known as the inter-services public relations (ISPR) office revealed on 23 April.

In January 2018, Himmat conducted a similar test-firing of the weapon. On both occasions, the ISPR office stopped short of disclosing the type of missile used in the firings, only noting that it has anti-ship and land-attack capabilities, and that the weapon has been developed in-country.

The test announced in April 2019 was also described as one that has "accurately hit its target on land", but no further details were given on this, including the type of target deployed, and its distance from Himmat at the time of firing.

Images of the launch released by the ISPR office suggest a weapon length of between 6 m and 7 m, when taken in relation to Himmat 's overall beam. Based on its visible markings, it is probable that the missile is the 'Harbah', which is shipborne variant of Pakistan's indigenously developed Hatf 7 (Babur) short-range cruise missile.

Pakistan is known to be pursuing air-, ship-, and submarine-launched variants of the Babur cruise missile to complement its line-up of longer-ranged ballistic missiles.

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