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Pakistan test fires improved Nasr short-range ballistic missile
July 26, 2017
Photo credit: Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR)

Pakistan test fires improved Nasr short-range ballistic missile

Pakistan’s Strategic Plans Division (SPD) successfully test-fired an improved version of the Hatf-IX Nasr short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) on Wednesday, July 05.

According to an official press release by Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the updated Nasr SRBM has a range of 70 km (the original Nasr’s range is 60 km) and flight maneuverability improvements.

The ISPR describes the Nasr as a “high precision weapon system with the ability of quick deployments.” It will “augment [Pakistan’s] credible deterrence against [the] prevailing threat spectrum more effectively, including anti-missile defences.”

Footage from ISPR shows that three Nasr (v2) units were tested in succession at the target, each launched from a different firing trajectory, ostensibly to showcase the missile’s maneuvering capabilities.

Pakistan announced that it began testing the Nasr in 2011. The SRBM entered service in 2013 as a “quick response” system with “shoot-and-scoot attributes.”

Notes & Comments:

The Nasr is a battlefield short-range ballistic missile (BSRBM) capable of being deployed from multi-barrel missile launchers. Pakistan introduced the Nasr to compensate for its conventional deficits vis-à-vis India, most notably New Delhi’s apparent ‘Cold Start’ doctrine, which envisages the use of integrated land battle groups comprising of armour, infantry and aviation assets to quickly capture Pakistani territory.

Pakistan relies on its nuclear assets to dissuade a full-scale conventional conflict with India. However, the successful execution of Cold Start, which would result in territorial loss for Pakistan before it can act upon its nuclear threat, would render the nuclear deterrence threat moot. The point of nuclear deterrence was to prevent an Indian entry, but Cold Start was imagined nullifying that threat from the onset of a conflict.

In tandem with its localized availability of miniaturized warheads, Pakistan began forming the doctrine of ‘tactical nuclear weapons’ (TNW). The Nasr – along with the Babur and Ra’ad series of cruise missiles – is a TNW platform, which Pakistan believes would enable it to attack military targets, such as integrated battle groups. Pakistan imagined TNWs as a means to deter India from employing Cold Start, especially since the units directly involved in the incursion would be targeted by TNWs.

However, TNWs are still nuclear weapons, and thus, remain within the domain of strategic deterrence. Pakistan has been making efforts to strengthen its conventional capabilities, which is evident in it studying wheeled self-propelled howitzers, attack helicopters and main battle tanks for procurement and improving its rocket artillery. If acquired in sufficient quantities, these systems could enable Pakistan to deter the Cold Start threat on conventional terms. However, this is conditional on continuity and growth in Pakistan’s fiscal capacity, which will remain in question for the foreseeable future.

For additional reading on Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, see Quwa’s pieces on Pakistan’s tactical nuclear weapons strategy and the state of the program since 1998.

  • Pakistan Zindabad – Pakistan iz in the safe-hands – and future of Pakistan iz bright and shine – thanks

    • sivakumar bharadhwaj

      in whose hands were it before this Nasr

    • jamshed_kharian_pak

      Alhamdoulillah We Love Our Armed Forces

  • Steve

    That is why land forces and helicopters will make up the majority of our costs of procurement. The armed forces are not stupid and know where the priorities lie. We need to neutralise the most acute threat, which is deterring Cold Start type adventures by a jingoistic enemy. The aim is to make the cost of an adventure unacceptable. It is no surprise that Nasr caused acute pain across the border when first announced. We can see why naval development takes a back seat. We do however need air defence assets as the gap is widening and that’s not good for deterrence.

  • We need some long range air defence system and few destroyers.

    • ahmria

      I agree with the Air defence system but I think frigates and more submarines would be beneficial to the Navy as running costs for destroyers are very high.

  • MT

    Your post confirm to Pak usage of proxies but it seems carrots are drying and freeby from USA might freeze n matter of a yr

  • Khalid Riaz

    Pakistan should deal with cold start by matching Indian armoured stremgth and creating a dense air defence environment.

    There is the possibility that in response to increase in number of Pakistani tanks India would increase its armour strength even more. However, one needs to appreciate that unlike war planes, tanks do not pose a threat to China. So India would face a tradeoff.

    As long as we have good air defence, tanks defending Pakistani territory would not be at the mercy of the Indian airforce.

    India’s airforce is primarily meant for ‘China plus Pakistan’ scenario. It would enjoy size advantage in the most likely scenario i.e. Pakistan defends against an assault on its teritory without intervention by another country.

    In such an eventuality, India would like to first go after Pakistan’s relatively smaller airforce. If air superiority is achieved its next objective would be to try and smash the armoured corps. The second objective would be difficult to achieve in the presence of a robust multi-layred Pakistani SAM capability.

  • ahmria

    I’m not too sure tactical nukes are the answer. The minute you launch a nuclear strike weather tactical or strategic the nuclear genie is out of the bag and most countries will respond with a nuclear strike in retaliation. I think a more practical response would be a multi layered robust air defence system, aviation assets including dedicated anti armour helicopter gunships and powerful armoured strike corps to act as a counter. This all costs money but I believe it is something Pakistan should invest in because nobody wins in a nuclear exchange.

    • Priyanshu Singh

      unfortunately you dont have a credible air defence system

  • jigsaw

    I don’t think NASR will be a permanent show stopper for the Indians and the borrowed CSD. It’s only a matter of time India will want to put it to use, since the mindset calls for it. It’s been apparent with Indian military officially acknowledging the doctrine after years of silence at the highest ranks. NASR does seem to have prolonged that time by exposing Indian military weaknesses to be unable to counter battlefield weapons like NASR. The change we’re seeing in Indian military strategy here is equipping battlefield groups with own defence covers, one that does not have to rely on calling for additional support. That will come in form of QR SAMs and battle groups equipped with other layers of defence so as to guarantee sufficient self protection against NASR and the likes. That episode is going on as of now.

    The other factor Pakistan could see in CSD is use of Prahaar, india’s own tactical battlefield missile. That’s something no one is talking about but the indians are working on it. So while Pakistan is working on countering CSD, the idea that needs to be floated here is, Pakistan will need to come up with its own version of CSD, one that does not necessarily seek to start a conflict but counter a CSD with CSD tactics and not the conventional ones. NASR is a conventional answer to CSD. The answer Pakistan will eventually need is to Counter the CSD with all the tools at hand to initiate own CSD in response to an Indian CSD.

    In a way, Pakistan should expect some form of Indian attack once its battlefield to strategic defence layers are in place. How much that spirals out of control, will depend on how much both sides are equipped with.

    • Steve

      There has been the Pakistani army concept of ‘riposte’ in which the war will be carried into enemy territory since ‘Zarb-i-Momin’ exercise of 1989. The ROSE upgrade of Mirages was part of this warfighting concept. Agree air defence is a priority for our strike cores.

      • jigsaw

        Ok thanks,

    • Shershahsuri

      Welcome Jigsaw, good to see you again.

      • jigsaw

        thanks.

    • Priyanshu Singh

      we are not working on PRAHAAR. it has already been test fired sucessfully before yours.
      we wont come up with QR-SAM as we have test fired our indigenous QR-SAM sucessfully twice which can also intercept sohrt range ballastic missiles. i dont no why your chief thinks this will put cold water on CSD as QR-SAM was tested before this successfully.

      • jigsaw

        So i guess the Indian concerns on NASR are merely propaganda then. As far as “before yours” goes, to Pakistan it is and never was about any competition, since Pakistan did not borrow a CSD from anyone. India did. NASR is a reaction to Indian possible aggression. Pakistan or Pakistanis are not interested in making this a “i made it first” scenario. That proves that threat of aggression originates from India. Pakistan sought to neutralise it and succeeded to large extent, for time being at least.

        From what i know for a fact, NASR was tested a little while before Prahaar. So i also doubt your statement anyway.

        What i said is, india will put CSD to test at some point, what the indian military is asking for at this point is equipping strike units with NASR cover. There won’t be any CSD without battlefield defence from NASR. That is the wait there to equip them actually with QRSAMs. You’ve merely carried out a test as of now.

        I don’t think our Chief actually is resting on NASR and statements like putting cold water on cold start. These are for public consumption. The actual problem like i said is not battlefield and technological hurdles, its the mindset india has. One that calls for aggression and attacking its neighbours, especially Pakistan. Eventually India will put that mindset to practice, whether it is equipped to pull off something or not.

        • Steve

          Looks like SPD could think about nuclear artillery shells like W-48 with base bleed or rocket assisted ammo for extended range. These could be fired from existing 155 mm guns using a flat trajectory to avoid systems like Iron Dome that I’m sure the Jews will sell the Hindus soon. Make it as small and fast as possible. Also develop neutron bombs to kill tank crews inside intact armour. Need to keep pushing the envelope.

  • jamshed_kharian_pak

    Excellent news Armed Forces Of Islamic Republic Of Pakistan could use TNWs against India, exp if 500000 five hundred thousand Indian troops crossed in to Islamic Territory may be two or tree TNWs are enough to eliminate decimate them yeni 3 patakey oun ko Bilcoul Ghaib Karney ke lie kafi hain!

    • Steve

      Brother I commend your enthusiasm but there is an exact science behind nuclear blast kill zones and size and number of weapons needed. Remember we will be using these on our territory which constrains size. Indians will not make the job easy and will disperse armour and add NBC but that will make them lose momentum and our 20K Bakhtar Shikan come into play along with helicopters, artillery, and tank brigades/corps. We need a lot more TNW hence the 4th reactor at Khushab :). Like I said mega messy and uncontrollable.

    • Priyanshu Singh

      you will bomb your own territory with nukes. pity on those pakistanis. shame on you

  • Shakeel

    Sounds rich coming from those who have advocated ‘Cold start’ doctrine .From this doctrine to ‘hot pusuit’ strategy. i think the Indians are chasing a ‘Phantom’ or a figment of their imagination.Sikkim incident serves to highlight fundamental weaknesses in India’s chin (soft spot). No need to have TNW for now, but save them for another misadventure – be it hot or cold.

  • Steve

    Welcome back mr headstrong, you have been very quiet lately and I was concerned you may have been arrested for cheering for the Pakistan cricket team lol. Planning to deter a larger adversary is not being scared of them, quite the contrary. All the posters here have confirmed one thing which your planners also know or should know, unless they all wear khaki shorts and are totally deluded. Cold Start will open one huge messy can of worms and likely lead to uncontrolled escalation. You can’t cover every part of your forces or for that matter your country from multiple strikes with multiple platforms arriving at different speeds and trajectories in saturation attacks, like one poster is suggesting above. We may even develop nuclear artillery next like USA’s W-48 artillery shell only recently retired, or deliver it by means you don’t even think of. That’s why Cold Start will have to started by someone with bigger cajones than Indians have displayed since the dawn of time, 56 inch protestations notwithstanding Lol. Mods edit if you don’t like this but allow it.

    • Headstrong

      Not to worry ‘Steve’. I escaped the fate of those unfortunate to have cheered Virat Kohli and raised the Indian flag in Pakistan 😄
      And with regards to the ‘multiple strikes from multiple platforms’, been there done that, sir. Fanciful notions are what sustain you people and I must acknowledge that these castles you people build in the air do keep you all in some kind of suspended animation, and eternally hopeful. Enjoy your khayali pulav. Until we mention CSD or NFU again. Then you can start foaming at the mouth again 😄

      • Steve

        I note that you choose to respond with rhetoric and nothing substantial. That is because we are ahead in nuclear and you know it. FYI Everything I wrote about is already inducted. Hmmm… you look like a different headstrong not the usual one. It’s probably a RAW desk manned by different internet trolls doing 8 hour shifts therefore the change in language style. That’s probably why you guys all upvote each other. Do they pay you enough and give you amenities like air conditioning 😂.

        • Headstrong

          You’re right ‘Steve’, that was not the same Headstrong. How could I have forgotten to include RAW as among those words which cause instant whining from you people? In fact, that should rank as number one on the list 😜
          I understand you people now blame RAW for Raymond Davis’s autobiography 🙄

          • Steve

            We have our share of jokers who can claim and say what they want. A lot of things are said because we have democracy and the clueless masses are often misguided by all sorts of characters. We don’t silence people. It’s a free
            country. Re RD, he is certainly not a pillar of intellect or integrity, and is out to make a quick buck. Who knows what’s the truth, but serious people know you guys have certainly not got that much influence. Why don’t you personally gain employment elsewhere, depending on which headstrong I’m talking to. Your English though full of Indian phrases is not bad and you could become like a double agent and work for ISI 😂. Certainly be paid a lot more. Your spooks are notorious for bad pay and no loyalty. They are using your misplaced patriotism for exploiting you. Watch out for your supervisor!

          • Headstrong

            Oh goody! A recruitment offer. I would have thought that a pre-requisite to join any of your institutions, not least the ISI, would be to have a visceral hatred for all things Indian (which, for you people, translates to Hindu). If yes, I’ll have to work on that as that has not been programmed into me from birth, unlike you people. I promise to work on it.
            But, as an offer, it sounds interesting. I’m keeping this very quiet, so that neither my supervisors, nor the others in my cramped 6×6 cubicle (with no air conditioning), have a clue. I have a few conditions though. I’m less the George Smiley type (no Looking Glass Wars please) and more like Bond. James Bond. Therefore, I would require the following –
            1. Some nifty gadgets – please send a few samples. I’m sure you have a Q holed up somewhere in those dark caves from you people operate
            2. A couple of futuristic cars – a document with photos detailing the special features will do for now. It absolutely must have the ability to turn into a submersible.
            3. A couple of Bond girls as arm candy – someone akin to a young Monica Bellucci or Barbara Bach or Halle Berry at the very least.
            4. An unlimited credit card for use even in the remotest of places – including said caves.
            Now, the above are non-negotiable. But if your handlers can deliver, I’m yours. No more allowing my patriotism to be exploited for free. ‘My patriotism to the highest bidder’ is my new mantra. Am waiting with bated breath for your/ your handler’s response (would it be in a code that I can decrypt?). You know where to find me.

            PS – If and when I cross over, please do educate me on this ‘democracy’ thing you people seem to have and which you have alluded to in passing in your post above. I understand that in your case, this translates to being picked up by Spy vs Spy type of agents at any time, for (tick one of the following)
            1. Blasphemy
            2. Being part of a religious minority
            3. Being part of a sectarian minority
            4. Being a fake Muslim (which can really mean anything you want it to mean)
            5. Expressing views – in print, electronic media or social media – against a very powerful institution in your country, which has historically show great respect for ‘democracy’, and actually allows elections once in a while

            PPS – If I join, would I be drafted into the snazzy Ghazva-E-Hind venture? Can I be featured in the posters at least?

          • Steve

            Major effort in your part but for nothing I’m afraid. Stating well known prejudices which are more deeply ingrained in Hindus (of course) by your propoganda. You are definitely not the same headstrong. That guy has some sense but you’re weird lol. I can definitely say I have never met an Indian who even remotely looked or acted like James Bond Hahaha. You Indians have many problems in that regard that the mods won’t allow a discussion in but are well known, especially in the West. It’s better if you live in your fake Bollywood dream world. 😉

          • Headstrong

            Which Headstrong are you looking for, exactly? There are 3 of us working in shifts of 8 hours each, and each of us have been recruited for having three personalities. So you’ll have to be a little more specific 🙂

          • Steve

            I knew it! RAW trolls lol. Thanks for the confirmation. Bilal you may need disinfectant. Your nice website is infested 😉

          • Headstrong

            C’mon ‘Steve’. Not all 9 of us are trolls. You yourself admitted to at least one of us having ‘sense’, remember?
            Does this mean you’re withdrawing your job offer, ‘Steve’? I can point you in the right direction if you’re looking to raising your flag on the Red Fort. You know – Ghazva-e-Hind and all that?. I can be an invaluable source of information for you. Please ask your handlers to reconsider. If my price is too high, drop the nifty gadgets. See? I can be reasonable too. What a bargain you’re getting! 🙂

  • Steve

    Pray tell us what the clairvoyant ‘internal sources’ are that are saying Indians are ‘winning’ on LOC. Are they the same that announced the infamous ‘surgical strikes’ to widespread head scratching and mirth here, and jingoistic hysteria across the border Lol. As far as your 2020 comment, you guys never fail in boasting about things that have not happened and are merely aspirations. It’s a national characteristic of Indians that is easily ‘exposed’ Lol.

    • Priyanshu Singh

      well the same strikes gave you the feeling of humiliation which was not condemned by anyone except HAFIZ SAEED and
      NAWAZ sirf naam se SHAREEF

      • Steve

        Dude you make no sense whatsoever. I suggest you improve your English and learn how to frame an argument. I notice you are trolling many posts here with Hinglish one liners and hoping to get a response. Please act mature or else leave.

  • Asif Khan_47

    Interesting that they have increased the range from 60km to 70 km. I have heard the plan is to increase to 120km, therefore, replacing Haft-I

  • Steve

    Totally agree bill. This concept of using TNW in the face of numerically inferiority in armour is not new. Even rich countries sometimes choose not to try to match numbers. The concept was used by NATO for 50 years when they faced >40K Warsaw Pact tanks in the central German plain during the Cold War. They had similar short range nuclear missiles like Lance and Pershing, and newly inducted cruise missiles, which evolved into current Tomahawk. We need to invest in enhanced radiation weapons or Neutron bombs to the uninitiated, as we will be using them on our own territory and need to minimise fallout. Nuclear is the area where we are ahead and don’t face crowing about superior numbers. 🙂
    People here are worried about a nuclear exchange but don’t understand the concept of deterrence and the ‘madman theory’. If your enemy knows you will definitely use nuclear weapons then there is no war. No need to advertise red lines as well but keep the enemy guessing. It’s not for the faint hearted lol!

  • Ali Afzal

    Pakistan should buy more Anti-Tank guided missiles & gunship helicopters equipped with long range targeting pods. Pakistan should also get more night vision googles or thermal imagers which can be equipped with rifles. However, these missiles like NASR are also very important to teach enemy a good lesson !

    • Priyanshu Singh

      NASR is now cold ended with INDIA’s indegenous QR-SAM which is meant for this

  • Mudassar Fida

    Hot finish to a cold start. But now as it seems, ita a frozen start

  • Lasit

    Your assumption that Indian counter value strike will be partial, knowing very well that Pakistan will definitely retaliate with whatever is left, is really funny… The whole concept of CVS is to knock your enemy down before he retaliates… So Indian CVS will be to get the hell rain on Pakistan on a single blow and hope nothing much is left for Pakistan to retaliate…

  • Headstrong

    But, ‘Steve’, you’ve been ‘openly stating’ a lot for 70 years – Ghanzva-E-Hind, Kashmir baneyga Pakistan, splintering India et al. Why would anyone believe you now?
    The ‘American’ also have no clue of what India has, never mind what India does (they call Smiling Buddha II the single biggest intelligence failure in their history). I refer, of course, to that ‘secret city’ down south you’ll speak in hushed tones about among yourselves and beat your breast about in public. Do you presume to know better than Sugar Daddy?

    • Steve

      Dude you are skewing the argument and taking into territory not relevant to the discussion

      • Headstrong

        Not really, ‘Steve’. I am merely pointing out to you the fallacy of your arguments. You were ranting above that Pakistan is ‘ahead’ in nukes etc. Are you, dude? Did you learn this from the ‘American’? Or your super sleuths? Or some homegrown think tanks? Maybe ‘Iron Brother’?
        Dude, you people are engaged in convincing each other that Pakistan is a supa powa.
        Your nuclear blackmail bluff has seen its day, ‘Steve’. Come up with a new one before you people plan something major this side of the LoC. Or your bluff gets called…

  • SP

    The real battle is on the economic front. With the documentation of Indian economy India aims to boost its economy whilst attempts are being made to create political instability in Pakistan in order to weaken our economy. Without focusing on stability, economic growth and power generation Pakistan will face an uphill struggle to keep pace with military spending of India which will be increasing each year. It will be difficult for Pakistan to match India unless gets it priority right and stops playing politics and power games in the country.

  • Priyanshu Singh

    looks like you are quite desperate and angry and helpless that this missile is useless with our indegenous QR-SAM.

    • Steve

      Look dude, if you have something serious and worthwhile to say, please do say it. But this trolling with comments like “mine is bigger than yours and ever bigger than America’s” just makes people laugh and not take you seriously. Don’t get upset it’s not worth it.

  • Priyanshu Singh

    really you are ahead. please first read the report published by ISSI about nuclear arsenal of INDIA. even USA is behind us in THORIUM research.

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