Pakistan tests cruise missile

Pakistan said early Thursday that it has tested ground-launched cruise missile which can carry both nuclear and conventional warheads to a range of 500 kilometers "with pinpoint accuracy," the military said in a statement.

By conducting the successful test of the Hatf VII Babur missile,Pakistan has joined a select group of countries which have the capability to design and develop cruise missiles.

Babur is designed and developed by an elite team of scientists and engineers of Pakistan's strategic organizations, said the military, adding all design parameters for the test flight were validated, Xinhua reports.

The cruise missile is a terrain hugging missile and it has the most advanced and modern navigation and guidance system and a high degree of maneuverability. The technology enables the missile to avoid radar detection and penetrate undetected through any hostile defensive system.

The launch comes days after Pakistan and neighbouring rival India agreed to give each other advance notice of future nuclear missile tests, BBC reminds.

India had not been informed about Thursday's test because the agreement did not cover the type of missile fired on Thursday, the spokesman said.

The agreement "does not cover pre-notification of cruise missile tests," Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammed Naeem Khan told Associated Press.

There was no immediate reaction to the test from Delhi.

Cruise missiles are usually low-flying guided missiles.

"The technology enables the missile to avoid radar detection and penetrate undetected through any hostile defensive system," the Pakistan military said in a statement.

President General Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz have congratulated the scientists and engineers involved in the Babur program on their success, Xinhua says.

Musharraf said the successful test is a major milestone in Pakistan's quest for strengthening and consolidating its strategic capability, which is cornerstone of the country's national security.

He reiterated Pakistan's resolve to continue to meet emerging challenges and geo-strategic developments in its neighborhood. Pakistan's national security, he said, is non-negotiable.

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