The Pakistan Navy announced 21 March 2017 another successful test of its Zarb land-based anti-ship guided cruise missile derived from China's C-802 anti-ship missile (AShM). The test launch took place from an undisclosed coastal location, and saw the Zarb missile successfully strike a moored target out to sea. It's the second known test launch of a Zarb since April 2016. The word "Zarb" in urdu means a blow; in cricket it is a stroke in which the sole of the bat hits the ground and drives the ball aloft.
Zarb is evidently derived from the C-802, the upgraded export version of the Chinese YJ-8 AShM. The Pakistan Navy operates some 70 C-802s. The weapon is the main missile armament aboard the navy's F-22P Zulfiquar class frigates and Jalalat II class fast attack craft. The C-802 carries a 165 kg time-delayed semi-armor-piercing, high-explosive warhead out to some 200 km at a speed of Mach 0.9 (1,100 km/h).
Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah, Chief of Naval Staff of the Pakistan Navy, said the Zarb weapon system "has added a new dimension in the operational reach of the Pakistan Navy." He noted Zarb will be capable of further supporting the seaward defense of Pakistan by "having the capability of launching long-range anti-ship missiles from land." The navy claims Zarb is equipped with advanced technology and avionics, allowing it to hit sea-based targets with a high degree of accuracy. Vice Admiral Khan Hasham bin Saddique, Vice Chief of Naval Staff, commended the Pakistan Navy and the crew members and other officials involved in the trial following the successful launch.
The coastal site test in April 2016 occurred in the Arabian Sea and the AShM successfully engaged a surface target. The navy said the test further consolidates Pakistan's capability for seaward defense and contributes towards peace and stability in the region. Admiral Zakaullah said the operational use of Zarbh was part of the Pakistan Navy's continuous efforts to augment its capabilities. He described the event as a hallmark of the navy's combat preparedness.
The specific characteristics of the Zarb AShM are unknown. Given the fact that it was tested from a coastal battery, it is plausible to suggest that the Zarb is basically the C-802.
Jane's Defence Weekly reported 24 April 2018 that on 22 April 2018 the Pakistan Navy (PN) released one of the first images of its Zarb land-based anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) system (also known as the Zarb Weapon System) being test-launched. In the April 2018 issue of its Navy News magazine, the PN published a photograph of the Zarb ASCM being fired from an 8◊8 transport-erector-launcher (TEL) vehicle at the Jinnah Naval Base in Ormara, Balochistan Province, as part of the recently conducted naval exercise ĎSealion IIIí.
Naval Missile Regiment (NMR) under Naval Strategic Force Command (NSFC) conducted successful Test flight of Zarb Weapon System (ZWS) in Exercise SEALION III from JNB Ormara. ZWS is a battery of truck mounted Anti-Ship Missile to target Ships from Land. The ZARB Anti-ship missile was launched from the Missile Launch Vehicle (MLV) and after following its pre-fed trajectory successfully engaged the target.
Vice Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Kaleem Shaukat, along with Cdr NSFC; R/Admiral Ahmed Saeed, Chairman NESCOM, DG MTC, Commander Coast and Commander Pakistan Fleet witnessed the test firing. Vice Admiral Kaleem Shaukat lauded the utmost dedication, unflinching resolve and commendable professional conduct displayed by all participants. He conveyed confidence of CNS on the relentless efforts being put in by the Officers and men of PN to defend sea frontiers of our homeland. He said that PN will continue to support regional peace and security initiatives to meet the entire spectrum of challenges in the maritime domain.
The missile, which was fired by the PNís Naval Missile Regiment under the Naval Strategic Force Command, successfully hit its intended target, said the publication without providing further details about the test or the system.
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