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Pakistan officially unveils extended range Ra’ad 2 air-launched cruise missile
April 30, 2017
The NESCOM/AWC Ra'ad 2 air-launched cruise missile (ALCM). Photo credit: PTV

Pakistan officially unveils extended range Ra’ad 2 air-launched cruise missile

During its March 23 Pakistan Day Parade, the Pakistan Strategic Plans Division (SPD) officially revealed the Ra’ad 2 (“Thunder 2”) air-launched cruise missile (ALCM).

Described as an improved and extended-range of the 350 km Ra’ad ALCM, which was introduced by Air Weapons Complex (AWC) and the National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM) in 2007, the Ra’ad 2 has a stated range of 550 km.

Notes & Comments:

With its low-detectable design and terrain-hugging capability, the sub-sonic Ra’ad ALCM series is regarded as a key piece of the Pakistani military’s deterrence strategy, specifically its second-strike ability. The Ra’ad and Babur land-attack cruise missiles (LACM) are capable of delivering miniature nuclear warheads.

External differences between the Ra’ad and Ra’ad 2 appear to be minimal, suggesting that an emphasis was made on extending the range more so than increasing payload (albeit an increase in the latter cannot be ruled out).

Although Pakistan did not yet announce tests for the Ra’ad 2, it used the end of 2016 and beginning of 2017 to announce the tests of the Babur-2 LACM and Babur-3 submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM) respectively. These were joined by the test of the Ababeel multiple independent re-entry vehicle (MIRV)-capable medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM).

The Ra’ad ALCM-series is deployed from the Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) Mirage III/5 aircraft.

While it aimed for strategic purposes, the Ra’ad could have the potential to serve in a conventional role. Like other conventional munitions, it can carry a conventional high-explosive warhead, which could prove useful for reinforced targets.

In the long-term, there are other ALCM-related possibilities. For example, precision-guided sub-munitions such as the BLU-105 enable the AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) to engage multiple targets in an area, such as armoured formations, air fields, air defence sites, and dockyards, among others. An analogous solution could be a next-step for the Ra’ad.

  • Paul Baggio

    Malaysia should discuss with Pakistan to buy and integrate RA’AD2 with RMAF fleet of Su-30MKM.
    ..having stand-off missiles will minimize risk to RMAF small fleet of Fighter/Bomber like Su-30MKM…also will act as deterrent to hostile enemies as Malaysia have many overlapping claims with her neighbors.

    • Blue Marlin

      which neighbours are hostile to malaysia?

      • Paul Baggio

        ..the one who very closed to Israel!

        • Superior Shakeel

          That member has full protection of US war machine and NATO and then their own arsenal of top end US made fighters and weapons and world’s most advanced Submarines (soon to be inducted).

          I don’t think any amount of flankers or a subsonic stand off munition is going to stop them if they decide to strike Malaysia.

          • Stan

            What the heck are y’all talking about

          • Paul Baggio

            …you’ve got to be prepared! the last thing we want is another Muslim countries become new Libya!!

  • Syed Bushra

    Pakistan army is full of surprises, expect the unexpected. (•‿•)

    • MT

      Pak defence industry is all about importing south african, chinese maal.

      forget the total package, pak cant alone design a basic airframe(shaheen is chinese version, Raad comes from denel dynamics, Babur is chinese gift in return of broken Tomahawk supplied by pak to china for rev engineering) Well it has never done it in last 30yrs
      By the MTRC handbook, pak doesnt produce any considerable subsystem of cruise missile including the basic software and guidance system

      Coming to the raad2, it appears of same size & its rcs is way above 0.4/0.5 meter square and it uses same imported chinese aiframe lagging any composite materials

      • Zill e Hussnain

        once again do u have any evidence to support ur claims? u need to understand that it is a serious forum and not a comment section of news website

      • nob hamid gul

        Once again, thankyou for your response.

        It is always so good to see the frustration

      • stan

        your Brahmos is russi maal…..so stop with your mantra

      • comment

        And you know all this?

      • Ddsc

        The hot anger of our Indian friends is so evident that if you crack open an egg on them, it will fry in no time.

        Just a humble advise “mahnat kar, hasad na kar” – meaning “work hard, don’t just get jeolous”

  • nob hamid gul

    This is a fake claim by Pakistan Army.
    I am not being sarcastic😛

  • MT

    Rcs of Tomahawk SLCM is 0.5 which has very far amount of composite and its design is perfectly suited to minimise radar signature

    Raad 2’s RCS is by no means less than 0.6/0.7 which are pretty normal for any 80/90 era radar to detect albeit if its flying belong radar range envelope

    • Zill e Hussnain

      we will be very delighted if u can provide us these details from any credible sources, a failure to in doing so (which always happens in ur case) will negate ur false claims

      • MT

        Source: globalsecurity org

        Topic: Rcs(Radar cross section)

        • Hasan Ali

          Informative information on that page.. but brother we do not have any technical data regarding Ra’ad and it’s not a 90 era cruise missile with heavier payloads and larger length and diameter.. after 2000 we have seen couple of stealth tech and afterwards. so It will be difficult for us to compare Tomohawk with Ra’ad on two basis. first both are from different time period and different origins and second both are different in role. tomohawk in land and ship launched and has a greater range and payload on the other hand Ra’ad is air launched and has small dimension and lesser range and payloads, an as we all know smaller dimension generate less reflection to radar as compare to larger dimension and other thing which came to my mind was the su 30 and su 35.. both have different RCS but both are some how identical in size as su 30 has 12 SQM, on the other hand su35 has just 1 SQM. so brother tech makes a difference as time passes people learn what to and what not to use. so no offence and this was my personal point. Critics are welcomed brother.

        • Zill e Hussnain

          well again i did not ask you about what is RCS but let me specifically repeat my question again, what is the source of information which technically proves that Ra’ad 2 has the RCS of 0.6/0.7 as you stated above and can be detected by any 80/90 era radar ?

        • Salman Khan

          MT, you are valuable here with your insights, and these wishful people from my country should lend you more than a ear. Could you just cite the source about Raad missile?

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