Pakistan’s Babur II cruise missile has suffered another setback with the delivery platform crashing to the after two minutes into the flight at Sonmiani test range in Balochistan on March 19 reports the Hindustan Times.
According to reports in the Hindustan Times, quoting the national security planners – this was the second consecutive test failure of the Babur II missile after the previous test failed on April 10, 2018.
The second test launch failed while being witnessed by Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza, Chief of General Staff, Pakistan General Headquarters, Rawalpindi, and top officials of Army Strategic Forces Command (ASFC) and Strategic Plans Division.
Senior officials told Hindustan Times that Islamabad with the assistance of Beijing is trying to build missile to match the Indian Nirbhay cruise missile being developed by the DRDO.
The Babur is a short-range, turbojet-powered ground-launch cruise missile. Development of missile started in the 1990s as a reaction to the Indian cruise missile program and may have been supported by the reverse engineering of one or more U.S. RGM/UGM-109 Tomahawk missiles recovered by Pakistan in May 1998.
When the missile was first tested in 2005, it was announced that it had a range of 500 km. In 2012, there were claims of the Babur reaching a 700 km range. Future improvements could extend the missile’s range to around 1000 km. However, U.S. assessments put the current range much lower at 350 km.