July 28, 2012

2008 test of Pakistan's Raad Hatf-8 missile

Raad Hatf-8 in flight - see Wikipedia

And on parade. Does anyone have any verifiable photos of a different shape? Some theories are that it looks more like an American style cruise missile than a shorter range standoff weapon.
As reported on ABC Online, August 25, 2007 Pakistan tested its Raad (Hatf-8) missile in August 2007.

Publicity about the latest test is largely misleading - usually making it appear that the Raad is a brand new missile and that Thursday May 8, 2008's test was the first test. The publicity is both a genuine way of boosting Pakistani national pride and seems more immediately a reaction to India's test launch Wednesday, May 7, 2008 of its Agni III IRBM.

Defensetalk.com of May 8, 2008 has a useful report on Pakistan's May 8, 2008 Raad test:

"ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday successfully tested a ground-hugging cruise missile capable of carrying both nuclear and conventional warheads, the military said.The Hatf-VIII (Ra'ad) missile, developed exclusively for launch from the air, has a range of 350 kilometres (217 miles), a statement said.

"It has enabled Pakistan to achieve a greater strategic stand-off capability on land and at sea," it said.
It is a low-altitude, terrain-following missile with high manoeuvrability, and can deliver all types of warheads, with great accuracy," it said.

The firing comes just a day after neighbouring India tested a ballistic, nuclear-capable missile capable of hitting targets deep inside China.

President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani congratulated the Pakistani scientists and engineers on their "outstanding" success.

"The missile test is part of a continuing process of validating the design parameters of the weapon system," the statement said.

Last month Pakistan military carried out a training launch of Shaheen II, or Hatf VI, a long-range nuclear-capable missile which can hit targets far into India.

...South Asian rivals India and Pakistan -- which have fought three wars, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir -- routinely carry out missile tests since both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability in 1998."


India routinely criticises Pakistan for not building wholly original weapons. I'm semi-confident in saying that France, the US and Russia rely on almost totally homegrown aerospace technology while other countries use varying degrees of foreign content (especially engines).

Both India and Pakistan have developed highly advanced technology, most notably ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. As these weapons are potent symbols of national pride both are very reluctant to indicate any foreign content or assistance. Another issue is that those countries that have provided components or assistance (intentionally or unintentionally) don't want this widely known.

Missile tests as a demonstration of national power (by anyone US, Russia, Pakistan and India) are an interesting, expensive and inherently dangerous pastime.

Further Comment

The Raad, Hatf-8 appears in some ways to be a scaled down Russian KSR-2 / KS-11 / KSR-II AS-5 (Nato name is "KELT") . Here's a sketch of the Kelt. The Kelt went into service in Russia in the mid 1960's