ISLAMABAD, April 29 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan on Friday successfully conducted flight test of indigenously developed air launched cruise missile, which "can deliver nuclear and conventional warheads with great pin point accuracy," the army said.
The "Hatf-VIII Ra'ad Cruise Missile" has the range of 350 kilometers, an army statement said.
The missile has been developed exclusively for launch from aerial platforms, the statement from the Inter-Services Public Relations said.
"The missile test was conducted as part of the continuous process of improving the technical parameters of the weapon system," it said.
The statement said the missile system has enabled Pakistan to achieve a greater strategic stand off capability on land and at sea.
"Cruise technology is extremely complex and has been developed by only a few countries in the world. The state of the art Ra'ad Cruise Missile with Stealth Capabilities is a Low Altitude, Terrain Hugging Missile with high maneuverability, and can deliver nuclear and conventional warheads with great pin point accuracy," it said.
The successful launch has been appreciated by the president, the prime minister of Pakistan, and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee who congratulated the scientists and engineers on their outstanding achievement.
Defense analysts said that Ra'ad is an air launched cruise missile which can be fired from all the aircraft in the Pakistan Air Force. The cruise missile can be used in an anti-shipping role via aircraft against the ground/static targets.
Ra'ad in Arabic means "Thunder" which will provide Pakistan a great strategic stand off capability of land and sea. The missile has low detection probability due to stealth design and materials used in creating the missile.
Analysts said the biggest benefit of having this air launched cruise missile is stand off capability it has given to Pakistan.
Pakistan Air Force can target ground radars, and other specific military targets well beyond the visual range of the enemy. Pakistan has H-2 (60KM), H-3 (120KM) stand off weapons in its inventory and Ra'ad cruise missile will only add more range to its inventory giving it a three tier stand off capability at all times, day and night, analysts said.