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Pakistan Navy tests Zarb coastal defence system

07 November 2019
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An image released by the PN in April 2018 showing the Zarb ASCM being test-launched from a TEL vehicle during exercise ‘Sealion III’. Source: Pakistan Navy

The Pakistan Navy (PN) announced on 5 November that it conducted a test-firing of its Zarb land-based anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) system (also known as the Zarb Weapon System) during a training exercise.

"The [Zarb] missile successfully followed its pre-planned trajectory and accurately engaged the target at sea," the PN said in a statement on its Facebook page, adding that Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, was among those who witnessed the exercise.

No images or additional details of the test-firing were provided, but Adm Abbasi was quoted as saying that the "operationalisation of the Zarb Weapon System is depictive of Pakistan's strong resolve and high level of preparedness", adding that the PN "is fully capable of thwarting any aggression with an iron fist".

The announcement comes after the PN released in April 2018 one of the first images of the Zarb ASCM system being test-launched. In that month's issue of its Navy News magazine, the PN published a photograph of the Zarb ASCM being fired from an 8×8 transport-erector-launcher (TEL) vehicle at the Jinnah Naval Base in Ormara, Balochistan Province, as part of the recently conducted naval exercise 'Sealion III'.

At the time the PN said that the missile, which was fired by the PN's Naval Missile Regiment under the Naval Strategic Force Command, successfully hit its intended target.

Other than the colour scheme, the missile shown in the images appears to be a Chinese C-602, which is the export variant of the domestic YJ-62. The C-602 is a medium-range anti-ship/land-attack missile, which has a stated maximum range of 280 km and is armed with a 300 kg high-explosive semi-armour-piercing (SAP) warhead.

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