Pakistan Missile Update – 2003

Missile tests

Pakistan continues to develop its ballistic missile capability with foreign assistance and has pursued an ambitious testing program. In May 2002, Pakistan flight-tested its solid-fueled Abdali (Hatf 2) and Ghaznavi (Hatf 3) missiles, as well as its liquid-fueled Ghauri (Hatf 5) missile. The Shaheen I (Hatf 4) solid-fueled missile was flown in October 2002 and the Abdali missile again in March 2003. The Bush administration expressed its “disappointment” after both the May and October 2002 missile tests. In October 2003, Pakistan launched another series of tests in which it flight-tested the Ghaznavi and Shaheen I missiles.

Missile deployment

The Ghauri, or Hatf 5, which was bought from North Korea and is a version of the North Korean No Dong, was handed over to the Pakistani army by the Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) in January 2003. It has a 1000-1100 kilometer range and can carry a 700 kilogram payload. In March 2003, the Shaheen I, or Hatf-4, solid-fueled missile was turned over to the Pakistani Army’s Strategic Force Command. The Shaheen I is reportedly based on the Chinese M-9 missile, which according to one report, has a range of 200-600 km and a payload capacity of 950 kg.

Foreign assistance

In its most recent world-wide assessment of missile proliferation, the CIA reports that Chinese companies are continuing to assist Pakistan’s ballistic missile effort. China has helped Pakistan move toward the serial production of solid-propellant SRBMs, such as the Shaheen I, Abdali and Ghaznavi, and Pakistan will be looking for continued Chinese assistance in the development of the solid-propellant Shaheen II MRBM, according to the CIA.

In September 2001, the United States sanctioned the China Metallurgical Equipment Corporation (CMEC) for proliferating missile technology to Pakistan’s National Development Complex (NDC). In transferring Category II items under the Missile Technology Control Regime, the CMEC acted in violation of China’s November 2000 nonproliferation commitment, which according to the U.S. State Department was a pledge “not to assist in any way other countries to develop ballistic missiles that can be used to deliver nuclear weapons…” Pakistan’s NDC was also sanctioned.

In March 2003, the United States imposed sanctions against one Pakistani and one North Korean entity “for specific missile-related transfers.” Pakistan’s Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) was sanctioned under U.S. executive order 12938, and North Korea’s Changgwang Sinyong Corporation was sanctioned under the U.S. missile sanctions law. A report in The Washington Times said the sanctions involved the transfer of fully-assembled, nuclear-capable No Dong missiles from North Korea to Pakistan. According to press reports citing American intelligence officials, Pakistan obtained the ballistic missile hardware in exchange for supplying North Korea the gas centrifuge technology needed to make highly enriched uranium, and American spy satellites tracked a Pakistani aircraft (an American-built C-130) as it was loaded with ballistic missile parts in a North Korean airfield in July 2002.

Pakistan’s ballistic missiles

Hatf 1

  • single-stage, solid fuel, according to reports
  • 80 km range, according to Pakistani sources
  • payload of 500 kg, according to reports
  • deployed with the army

Hatf 1A

  • 100 km range, according to one report
  • tested in February 2000

Abdali (Hatf 2)

  • single-stage, solid fuel, according to reports
  • 300 km range, according to Pakistani sources
  • payload of 450-500 kg, according to reports
  • last tested in March 2003
  • in service, according to one report

Ghaznavi (Hatf 3)

  • two-stage (according to reports), solid fuel
  • more than 300 km range
  • payload of 500 kg
  • bought from China, Chinese M-11
  • last tested in October 2003
  • overseen by the National Development Complex (NDC)

Shaheen I (Hatf 4)

  • single-stage, solid fuel
  • 200-600 km, according to one report
  • payload of 950 kg, according to one report
  • based on the Chinese M-9, according to reports
  • last tested in October 2003
  • handed over to Pakistan Army’s Strategic Force Command in March 2003
  • overseen by the National Development Complex (NDC)

Shaheen II

  • two-stage, solid fuel
  • 2500 km range claimed by Pakistan
  • 1000 kg payload claimed by Pakistan
  • unveiled in March 2000, but not yet tested
  • development requires continued Chinese or other foreign assistance

Ghauri (Hatf 5)

  • single-stage, liquid fuel
  • 1000-1100 km range
  • payload of 700 kg
  • bought from North Korea, North Korean Nodong MRBM
  • last tested in May 2002
  • it is “fully operational,”according to Dr. A. Q. Khan, accredited as being the father of Pakistan’s nuclear program
  • turned over to the Pakistani Army in January 2003
  • overseen by the A.Q. Khan Research Laboratories (KRL)
  • Pakistan claims to be making improved versions of the Ghauri, called the Ghauri II and III. Reports citing the development and capabilities of these missiles are unconfirmed.