Babur missile

Babur missile

The Babur missile (Urdu: بابر ; Babar means lion in Turkic language Chaghatay); it is also suggested that the missile was named after the first Mughal Emperor Babur.

It is the first cruise missile fielded by Pakistan. It is capable of carrying either conventional or nuclear warheads and has a reported range of 700 km (435 miles). It can be fired from warships, submarines and fighter jets. It is designed to avoid radar detection and penetrate undetected through a defensive system. The cruise missile is a terrain hugging missile and it has an up-to-date navigation and guidance system, and a high degree of maneuverability. Serial production of Babur started in October 2005.


In 1998, six Tomahawk cruise missiles fired at Taliban bases in Afghanistan by US destroyers mis-fired and landed in Pakistan. It is speculated that Pakistan seized upon the opportunity to reverse-engineer the Tomahawk and develop its own prototype. The propulsion system appears to approximate that of Tomahawk according to video of its launch. However, there is no confirmation of this, and the Pakistani missile development company, NESCOM has rejected this theory. Some members of NESCOM have come out saying, off the record, that Pakistan has been working on cruise missiles since 1995. Some analysts have speculated that the Babur has benefited from Kh-55 technology.. Babur is believed to be extremely accurate. It is steered by an inertial navigation system (INS). INS continuously measures the movement, speed and position of the missile. It is equipped with a precision guidance system that allows the missile to hit small targets. It is powered by a cruise turbo-fan engine which enables the missile to reach an approximate speed of 880 km/h (550 miles/h). The missile's design features can be compared with the American BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missile.


On August 12th, 2005, Pakistan publicly announced that it had successfully test fired a nuclear-capable Babur cruise missile. The missile was launched from a land based transporter erector launcher (TEL). With this test, Pakistan became one of twelve countries that possess cruise missile technology. Babur is part of Pakistan's Hatf missile series. The unannounced initial launch on 11 August 2005 caught much of the international community by surprise due to the technically advanced nature of the missile, as well as the fact that Pakistan did not notify India of its test-firing in accordance with the existing notification agreement, as it is limited to ballistic missile testing only.

On March 22nd, 2007, Pakistan test-fired the second version of the nuclear-capable Babur/Hatf VII nuclear-capable cruise missile with the capability to avoid radar detection and an extended range of 700km. On December, 11, 2007 another test of Babun cruise missile has been carried out.

On July 26, 2007 Pakistan reportedly tested an upgraded Babur cruise missile. Various reports claimed that it has been upgraded to carry on future PAF fighters such as the F-16 and JF-17. In the future, a more advanced version of the Babur is planned, that will likely have more range, and will weigh considerably less than the current 1,400 kg model. Other likely upgrades might include being equipped to the J-10 jet fighter or the German U-212/U-214 submarines.

The sudden test of the Babur missile surprised the world community. The United States gave a muted response. India which, though gave no official response, was criticized by its media for not knowing beforehand. Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf praised the Pakistani scientists and engineers by saying that they had once again done the country proud by mastering a rare technology. By conducting a cruise missile test Pakistan has joined a select group of countries which have the capability to design and develop cruise missiles. Musharraf also said that Pakistan was not into an arms race with anyone but would never compromise on its strategy of defensive deterrence.

Designation Other Name Range Payload Status Inventory
Hatf-I/IA (BRBM) Hatf-I/IA 80/100 km 300 kg Deployed 50-100
Abdali (SRBM) Hatf-II 180 km 500 kg Deployed, Under production 100+
Ghaznavi (SRBM) Hatf-III 290 km 500 kg Deployed, Under production 100+
Shaheen-I (MRBM) Hatf-IV 700 km 750 kg Deployed, Under production 100+
Ghauri-I (MRBM) Hatf-V 1200-1500 km 700-1000 kg 60-80
Ghauri-II (MRBM) Hatf-VA 2,400 km, More range with lighter payload. 1000 kg Operational, Under production 60-80
Shaheen-II (IRBM) Hatf-VI 2500 km, More range with lighter payload. 1000+ kg Deployed, Under production 60-80
Babur (Cruise Missile) Hatf-VII 700 km 500 kg Deployed 30-40
Ra'ad (Air Launched Cruise Missile) Hatf-VIII 350 km Under Testing
M-11 (SRBM) 300 km 500kg In service 100+

Note: Not every missile has nuclear payload.

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