“BABUR-3—PAKISTAN’S SLCM: CAPABILITY AND LIMITATIONS,” Journal of Air Power and Space Studies, Vol.13, No.3 (July-Sept) 2018.
On January 9, 2017, Pakistan carried out the flight test of a 450-km range Submarine Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM), the Babur-3. This was followed by another test on March 29, 2018. Apart from claiming advanced technical features, reports appearing in the Pakistani media claimed that with the launch of the Babur-3, Pakistan had achieved second strike capability. Based on the publicly available materials, the capability of the missile has been examined and the assessment shows that the missile range is shorter than the claimed one, and is about 250 km. This paper looks into the implications of the fielding of the Babur-3 on strategic stability and deterrence. The paper also reflects on the future direction that Pakistan may take to reinforce its second strike capability.