In the early 1980s China is widely reported to have provided Pakistan with the blueprints for a 1966 design of a U-235 nuclear-implosion device, of the type used in the warhead that China flew on a DF-2A missile during its fourth nuclear test on 27 October 1966. This missile warhead was reported to weigh about 1,300 kilograms with a yield of 12-25 kt. This warhead design would be too large to be carried on an M-11, which does not have the range to reach beyond the Indian Desert to threaten New Delhi or other large population centers. The Ghauri missile represents both an opportunity to use heavier uranium bombs on ballistic missiles, as well as to deliver nuclear warheads to targets across much of India. The Ghauri missile was developed by the Kahuta-based Khan Research Laboratories, led by Dr. A.Q. Khan, which is responsible for uranium weapons development.
Pakistan has stated that the range and payload capacity of the missile will be upgraded. Pakistan claimed that the missile had "no relevance" to China's M-11 missile, and analysis suggests that it appears to be a derivative of the North Korean Nodong design. The December 2001 CIA report "Foreign Missile Developments and the Ballistic Missile Threat Through 2015" seemed to suggest that the Ghauri was based on No Dong MRBMs that Pakistan has acquired from North Korea.
This missile was first named Hataf-V, later the name was changed to Ghauri, which was approved by the prime minister. The missile was named after the 12th century Afghan king Shahbuddin Ghauri who captured western parts of India between 1176 and 1182, and captured northern India by defeating Prithvi Raj Chauhan in 1192. The Ghauri name is thus highly symbolic, as "Prithvi" is the name of the Indian short-range ballistic missiles, and Pakistan's "Ghauri" has a much longer range than the Indian missile.
- On 06 April 1998 Pakistan carried out a successful flight test of the surface-to-surface Hatf-V (Ghauri) missile with a range of 1,500 kilometers (937 miles) and a payload capacity of 700 kg. The missile was tested to hit a target at a range of 1,100 kilometers. The Ghauri was fired from Malute, near the city of Jhelum in northeastern Pakistan, and impacted the target near the southwestern city of Quetta. This is a distance of only some 700 km, significanly less than the claimed range of up to 1,500 km/930 miles.
- The Indian Test of the Agni II IRBM was conducted 11 April 1999. Pakistan responded on 14 Apr 1999 with a test firing of its Ghauri II missile from the Jhelum region in northeast Pakistan. The vehicle reportedly struck a target in the Baluchistan desert about 1,100 km. away. It would appear that if the missile was fired directly due east, the effect of the earth's rotation would give it a range of 1,240 km. Fired in a southerly direction towards major urban targets in India, it could reach a range of some 950 km - 1,120 km.
- The US-based stratfor.com intelligence consulting company suggested that Pakistan may have test fired a missile [which could be a Ghauri] on 15 August 2000, when India was celebrating Independence Day. Objects streaking through the skies in Balucistan on that day were perhaps Ghauri-III missile tested by Islamabad, or perhaps they were merely a meteor shower.
- On April 14, 2002 Pakistan conducted an additional flight of the Hatf-5 (Ghauri) missile.
- On May 25, 2002, Pakistan conducted a test of the Ghauri. The test the first of a series of "routine" tests announced by the Pakistani Information Ministry and came as Inidia and Pakistan were involved in a tense standoff over Kashmir.
- This was followed on March 10, 2004 with another test flight of the Hatf-5 (Ghauri) missile.
- On May 29, 2004, Pakistan test fired a Hatf-5 (Ghauri) missile with the test reportedly aimed at improving the technical parameters of missile system.
- On 04 June 2004 Pakistan test fired a Hatf-5 (Ghauri) missile.
- On 12 October 2004 Pakistan test fired a Hatf-5 (Ghauri) missile. India was informed beforehand about the test. A military statement said "Pakistan this morning carried out another successful test of the indigenously produced intermediate range Ballistic Missile Hataf V (Ghauri)... [as] part of a series of tests planned for the Ghauri missile system. ... The test completely validated all the design parametres... "
- On November 16, 2006 the Hatf-5 (Ghauri) missile wasv again flown for training and other geopolitical purposes.
- On November 28, 2012 Pakisttan once again conducted a test of the Hatf-5 (Ghauri) missile.
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