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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 10, 2007
Pakistan to deploy new nuclear missile as counter to Indias nuke build-up: U.S. report
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Pakistan to deploy new nuclear missile as counter to Indias nuke build-up: U.S. report

Pakistan is preparing its next-generation of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles for deployment, a Federation of American Scientists (FAS) report has claimed.

Washington, May 10 : Pakistan is preparing its next-generation of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles for deployment, a Federation of American Scientists (FAS) report has claimed.

According to the Dawn, India's nuclear build-up is motivating Islamabad to modernise its nuclear armoury

Authors of the FAS report estimate that Pakistan currently has 60 nuclear weapons, and add that in the last five-and-a- half-years, Islamabad has deployed two new nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, entered the final development stages of a potentially nuclear-capable cruise missile, started construction of a new plutonium production reactor, and is close to completing a second chemical separation facility.

The FAS report includes a satellite image taken on June 5, 2005, showing 15 Transporter Erector Launchers (TEL) for the medium-range Shaheen 2 fitting out at the National Defence Complex near Fatehjang, approximately 30 km southwest of Islamabad.

The authors say that they discovered the vehicles while preparing for the latest nuclear notebook on Pakistani nuclear forces published in the May/June issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

The notebook is written by Hans M. Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists and Robert S. Norris of the Natural Resources Defence Council.

According to the report, Pakistan established the National Defence Complex in 1993, which has since expanded into a centre for the development of the country's missile force.

The main facilities are spread over a 6x2 km (4x1 mile) area on a ridge, and include what appear to be administrative buildings, missile assembly halls and garages. At two locations, several large six-axle vehicles are clearly visible on the satellite image, as are several smaller four-axle vehicles.

Approximately 1.5 km (0.9 miles) northwest from the main building is a cluster of what appears to be five constructed garages.

Parked in front or partially inside the two largest garages to the west are 11 vehicles that, the authors claim, show the characteristic six-axle design of the Shaheen 2 TEL, indicating that the launcher itself has not yet been installed.

The second facility is located just south of the main building and includes what may be four large assembly halls where, the authors claim, the missile launchers are installed on the vehicles. One six-axle vehicle appears to be about to enter the hall. Outside the other end of the building are what appear to be two Shaheen 2 TELs that have completed instalment of their missile launcher, thereby obscuring the axles of the vehicles. Two four-axle vehicles are also visible, which, the authors identify as Shaheen 1 TELs awaiting assembly.

ANI

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