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Pakistan test-fires ballistic missile

Islamabad, Dec 9, IRNA-Pakistan on Saturday successfully launched a short-range ballistic missile, the army said. The Hatf-III (Ghaznavi) missile has a range of 290 kilometers, a statement from the army's Inter-Services Public Relations said.

This was the third launch of a ballistic missile by the Strategic Missile Group (SMG) in as many weeks as part of the training exercises conducted by Pakistan's Army Strategic Force Command (ASFC),the statement said.

Two other SMGs had conducted successful launches of the Ghauri and Shaheen-1 ballistic missiles last month.

"The launch came at the culmination phase of the training exercise, which validated the operational readiness of the Strategic Missile Group (SMG), equipped with Ghaznavi missiles," the statement said.

The Ghaznavi Ballistic Missile System was handed over to the Army Strategic Force Command a few years ago.

Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed and a large number of senior military officers, scientists and engineers of the strategic organizations witnessed the launch exercise, according to the statement.

"Pakistan can be justifiably proud of its defence capability and the reliability of its nuclear deterrence," the air chief said.

He congratulated officers and other ranks of the ASFC on the excellent standards achieved during the tactical and technical phases of the training which was reflected in the successful launch and accuracy of the missiles on impact.

The chief of Air Staff appreciated the efforts of all personnel, civilian and military, "whose dedication and professionalism had made it possible for Pakistan to fully consolidate and operationalize its nuclear capability in the last seven years."

The chief of Air Staff further said that synergy must be created between all strategic forces of Pakistan's armed forces through coordination of operational, deployment and employment concepts under the aegis of the National Command Authority and Strategic Plans Division so as to strengthen the deterrence value of the nation's nuclear capability.

He said that the Pakistan Air Force will always work in tandem with sister services in a spirit of unity in order to maximize the effects of synergy.

... Payvand News - 12/9/06 ... --

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