Pakistan has announced the first successful test firing of the Babur-3 Submarine Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM) from an undisclosed location in the Indian Ocean. The missile was fired from an underwater, mobile platform and hit its target with “precise accuracy”. Babur-3 is a sea-based variant of the Babur-2 Ground Launched Cruise Missile (GLCM), which was successfully tested in December.
According to a release from the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) department of the Pakistan armed forces, Babur-3 has a range of 450km and incorporates state-of-the-art technologies including underwater controlled propulsion and advanced guidance and navigation features, duly augmented by Global Navigation, Terrain and Scene Matching Systems.
The missile is also reported to feature terrain-hugging and sea-skimming flight capabilities to evade hostile radar and air defence systems, in addition to “certain stealth technologies”, in an emerging regional Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) environment.
In land-attack mode, the ISPR declares that the Babur-3 is capable of delivering various types of payloads and will provide Pakistan with a Credible Second Strike Capability, augmenting deterrence. According to the ISPR release, this attainment of a second strike capability by Pakistan represents “a measured response to nuclear strategies and postures being adopted in Pakistan’s neighborhood”.