Is there a debate about Nasr/Hatf-IX within Pakistan?
Generation Why: South Asian Voices, Stimson Center, February 27, 2014
Arun Vishwanathan, Assistant Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies
On November 5, 2013 Pakistan flight tested its short range battlefield missile Nasr/Hatf-IX. The test involved successive firing of four missiles (Salvo) from a multi-tube launcher. As compared to the first (April 19, 2011) flight test which was carried out from a two-tube launcher, the remaining flight tests (May 29, 2012, February 11, 2013 and November 5, 2013) were carried from a four tube launcher.
However, this was not the only – or even the most significant – difference between the four flight tests. The most significant departure was the language used in the Inter Services Press Release (ISPR) press release following the fourth Nasr flight test. The ISPR press releases following the earlier tests had unambiguously claimed that the Nasr “carried nuclear warheads (sic) of appropriate yield.” Though the remaining text of the statement is largely similar to the earlier press releases, the statement following the fourth flight-test is different in one aspect. The statement claims that the missile, “contributes to the full spectrum deterrence against threats in view of the evolving scenarios.”