Pakistan has responded to India’s recent nuclear capable Agni-V missile test by testing one of their own. Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of Pakistan’s military, announced the successful test launch of Pakistan’s first ever submarine based cruise missile on Tuesday.
The Babur-3, according to the ISPR, is intended to bolster Pakistan’s defenses in response to recent technological developments in neighboring nations – which is likely a thinly veiled reference to India’s recent cruise missile tests.
“Pakistan eyes this hallmark development as a step towards reinforcing the policy of credible minimum deterrence,” The ISPR said in an official statement. They went on to call the successful test “a manifestation of the strategy of measured response to nuclear strategies and postures being adopted in Pakistan’s neighborhood.”
Just in case you felt that wasn’t specific enough a threat to Pakistan’s local nuclear opponent, the missile’s name (Babur-3) comes from a sixteenth century Islamic warlord that invaded and conquered India. In Pakistan, as well as in many nations throughout the world, tact and tactical aren’t always synonymous.
The test can be seen on an official video released by the Pakistani government, wherein it is clear that the missile is launched from a submerged location. The ISPR goes on to claim that the Babur-3 was fired from a “mobile platform and hit its target with precise accuracy.”
The development of this missile, a variation on previously successful land and sea based iterations of the same design, grants Pakistan what military experts are calling a legitimate “second strike” capability, or the ability to respond to a nuclear attack with a powerful nuclear retaliatory strike, not unlike the Cold War concept of mutually assured destruction. It is believed to have been developed by reverse-engineering American missiles found almost completely intact in Pakistan in the 1990s, but the ISPR claims they have added state of the art technology to the dated air frame.