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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistan Cruise Missiles

The term "cruise missile" means a missile that is an unmanned, self-propelled weapon-delivery vehicle that sustains flight through the use of aerodynamic lift over most of its flight path. This definition distinguishes cruise missiles from ballistic missiles and remotely piloted airplanes. Cruise missiles are jet-propelled pilotless aircraft designed to strike distant targets with great accuracy. Traveling at hundreds of miles an hour, cruise missiles use the global positioning system, inertial guidance, optical scenery correlation, and terrain comparing radar to find their targets. Their accuracy makes them especially useful in attacking military targets in urban areas with limited damage to nearby civilian facilities.

Pakistan's navy has been developing multiple types of missiles designed to target naval and other hostile marine vessels and had conducted live weapons tests on numerous occasions since 2016. Since 2016, Pakistan has test-fired a number of new long-range anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCM), most notably the Zarb coastal/land-based ASCM and Harba dual-ASCM and land-attack cruise missile (LACM). Zarb (C-802) and Harbah (C-602 Ship-launched Babur-II) are different from each other in terms of origins, and do not share components.

This situtation is hopelessly confused. There are clearly two Chinese cruise missiles - the C-802 which is a CHICOM Harpoon, and the larger C-602 which is a CHICOM Tomahawk. The nomenclature Zarb and Harbah is well attested, but there is complete confusion as to the walk-across between the Chinese and Pakistani nomenclature. The most authoritative and well attested reporting relates that the Harbah is a C-602 and the Zarb is a C-802. But Pakistan's Inter-Services Public Relations has released plenty of statements that do not specify the type of missile being tested, and the fine folks who select photographs to accomplany reports evidenty are of the view that one picture of a missile is as good as another.

Janes reported in April 2018 that the Zarb is the C-602, while Defense News reported that the C-602 is the Harbah. In April 2019, Google reported about 76,000 instances of "Zarb" and "C-602" on the same page, with about 64,000 instances of "Zarb" and "C-802" on the same page - on the whole no clear cut choice. In constrast, Google reported about 109,000 instances of "Harbah" and "C-602" on the same page, with about 79,000 instances of "Harbah" and "C-802" on the same page, a fairly clear preference. The preponderance of the search volume asssociates "Harbah" with "C-602" more strongly than "Zarb" and "C-602" are associated.

Just to make sure that no one gets bored, there is also a Babur 1, Babur 1B, Babur Version 2 [aka Babur II] nomenclature floating around, with no self-evident connection with these other designators. The Babur Weapon System-1(B), Babur 1B, Babur Version 2 [aka Babur II] dual ASCM/LACM are said to incorporate advanced aerodynamics and avionics that can strike targets both at land and sea with a high degree of accuracy with a range of 700 kilometers. It is a low-flying, terrain-hugging missile, which also has certain stealth features and is capable of carrying various types of warheads. This description is more consistent with a Tomahawk-like variant of the Harbah / C-602. Harbah (Ship-launched AShM) and Babur-II (Ground-launched AShM version) will take some time to mature and enter production.

The fine folks at Missile Threat credit Pakistan with Exocet [no domestic name] with a range of 40-180 km, Hatf 8 "Ra'ad" with a range of 350 km, and Tomahawk-like Hatf 7 "Babur" with a range of 350-700 km. The Nuclear Threat Initiative [Last Updated: April, 2016] also reports the Babur (Hatf-VII) GLCM and Ra'ad (Hatf VIII) GLCM, with rumors of a SLCM. The Nuclear Notebook reports no fewer than five cruise missiles of various flavors : Babur (Hatf-7) and Babur-2/1(B) (Hatf-?) GLCMs; Ra’ad (Hatf-8) and Ra’ad-2 (Hatf-?) ALCMs, and a Babur-3 (Hatf-?) SLCM. These sources do not mention either Zarb or Harbah. And Wikipedia reports a Babur 1 and 2 / Hatf VII GLCM, with a Harbah ship launched and Babur 3 (Hatf VII) – submarine-launched SLCM variants. It also briefly reports on the Zarb, repeating the Jane's report that it is a C-602 export version of the Chinese YJ-62 missile.

The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) is an international legal framework that regulates commercial missile and drone sales on the global arms market. The MTCR is not legally binding even on its member states, as it is an informal political agreement. China is not a member, and neither is Pakistan. But there is no difference in the MTCR limits if a state is a member or not.

In the United States, the Joint Cruise Missiles Project Office (JCMPO, or, later, CMP) was established in 1977 with the Navy as executive service to develop the air-launchrd cruise missile (ALCM) for the Air Force and a sea-launched cruise missile (SLCM) for the Navy' The latter, known as Tomahawk, also had a ground-launched version (GLCM) for the Air Force. The goal was to emphasize commonality among the different missiles, specifically by using common engine and land-attack guidance systems. That objective was maintained for SLCM and GLCM even after Boeing was chosen as the prime contractor for ALCM in 1980 and management of that program transferred to the Air Force.

The resulting Tomahawk product had a length of 18 feet 3 inches (5.56 meters); with booster: 20 feet 6 inches (6.25 meters), and a weight of 2,900 pounds (1,315.44 kg); 3,500 pounds (1,587.6 kg) with booster. Differing variants had ranges from 1250 km to 2,500 km, depending on the warhead.

When Boeing was selected in 1980 to produce the ALCM for the Air Force, program management of that missile moved to Air Force facilities at Wright-Patterson AFB. Even then, the engine and major elements of the guidance system remained common for all variants of the cruise missile family. The development and production of several missiles, designed to do different tasks and to be operated by different services, but still retaining a high degree of commonality, was a major management. A task for the joint office and provided an opportunity to achieve important savings in development and production costs over the life of the project.

Pakistan appears to have come to the same conclusion, though surely having trod a different path. The Hatf-7 Babur GLCM and the Hatf-8 Ra’ad ALCM are evidently different missiles. The yet to be seen [as of early 2016] SLCM will almost certainly prove to be a derivative of the Hatf-7, as the boxy Hatf-8 is unsuited tolaunch from a subarine torpedo tube.

These guided missiles are self-navigating and fly on a non-ballistic very low altitude trajectory in order to avoid radar detection. The most common mission for cruise missiles is to attack relatively high value targets such as ships, command bunkers, bridges and dams. The modern guidance system permits precise attacks.

Hatf VII
Weight<1,500 kg (payload >300 kg) 1,100 kg
Length6.25 m (7 m with booster) 4.85 m
Diameter0.52 m ??
Wingspan2.67 m
WarheadConventional or nuclear 450 kg HE or nuclear 10-35 kt ?
  • Turbofan
  • (Solid-fuel rocket booster during launch)
  • Turbofan Propellant
  • Solid fuel (booster rocket)
  • Liquid fuel (jet engine)
  • Operational range700 km 350 km
    Speed880 km/h or 550 mph (Mach 0.8) Subsonic
    Launch platforms Transporter Erector Launcher (TEL)
  • Dassault Mirage III ROSE
  • JF-17 combat aircraft

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    Page last modified: 30-04-2019 17:53:21 ZULU