Does Pakistan’s Ababeel Medium Range Ballistic Missile Really Have MIRV Capability?

Delhi Defence Review, February 03, 2017

Rajaram Nagappa, Professor and Dean of the ISSSP, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru.

Pakistan has carried out a missile test – it was not another training or pre-deployment test of Shaheen 2 or Shaheen 3, but the test of a new missile called Ababeel on 24 January 2017. The missile is claimed to have a range of 2200km and is said to be capable of carrying Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicles (MIRV).

Unlike the Shaheen 2, the new missile has three stages. The Ababeel thermal fairing (heat shield) has a large diameter than its core vehicle. The extra volume thus available is consistent with the requirements for MIRV capabilities. It must however, be noted that there are a number of technical constraints that have to be overcome before one can infer that Pakistan has succeeded in developing MIRV capability.

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