Pakistan’s recent missile technology advancement, shown by the Ababeel medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) test launch with multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle (MIRV) capabilities, signifies a pivotal development in South Asia’s strategic balance and defense capabilities.
The International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) reports that Pakistan last month conducted its second test launch of the Ababeel MRBM designed to carry MIRVs, moving a step closer to achieving the enhanced capability to penetrate India’s nascent missile defenses.
IISS says that the recent test at Sakhi Sarwar range in Punjab province followed the 2005 India-Pakistan agreement on pre-notification for ballistic-missile tests, which included seven Notice to Air Missions issued by Pakistan. It mentions the test was conducted to revalidate various design and technical parameters and evaluate the performance of different subsystems.
IISS notes that the Ababeel is one of two nuclear-capable MRBMs that Pakistan is developing, with the main difference being its MIRV capability, which increases deterrence by increasing the chances of penetrating India’s emergent ballistic-missile defenses.
The institute says that India is also preparing its own MIRV capability, linked to its Agni VI intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that is designed primarily to penetrate Chinese missile defenses and not for use against Pakistan.
MIRVs were first developed in the 1960s to enable a missile to deliver...
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