Pakistan has successfully flight tested indigenously developed Air-Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM), Ra’ad Tuesday.
Ra’ad, with a range of 350km, “enables Pakistan to achieve air delivered strategic standoff capability on land and at sea,” Dawn news daily cited the Inter-Services Public Relations as saying Tuesday.
The missile is approximately five metres long and could weigh up to 1,000kg. Special “terrain hugging low level flight manoeuvres enable it to avoid detection and engagement by contemporary air defence systems,” the statement added.
The flight test of the cruise missile, which is also known as Hatf VIII, was the seventh since it was first tested in 2007.
It is essentially a flying bomb, generally designed to carry a large conventional or nuclear warhead many hundreds of miles with high accuracy. Modern cruise missiles can travel at supersonic or high subsonic speed.
These guided missiles are self-navigating and fly on a non-ballistic very low altitude trajectory in order to avoid radar detection.
The most common mission for cruise missiles is to attack relatively high value targets such as ships, command bunkers, bridges and dams. The modern guidance system permits precise attacks.