After the recent reports of satellite imagery confirming Pakistan setting up tactical nuclear missiles base close to the Indian border, there is more evidence of a second base at Masroor AB, Karachi which houses Ra’ad nuclear missile that provides strategic standoff capability.
The satellite imagery dated 21 March 2016 posted by an expert on twitter shows a recently constructed Operational Readiness Platform (ORP) which is very well designed nuclear weapons underground vault system that includes electronic controls and vaults built in floors of Hardened Aircraft Shelter (HAS) and weapons storage bunker inter-connected with each other.
According to the document posted, the special ORP has probably been constructed to achieve three specific aims. Firstly to have nuclear weapons and related aircraft at operational readiness at all times. Second, the ORP will help to evade indication of changes in alert systems. India has no chance of knowing if mated weapons have been loaded for delivery or not and thirdly to ensure survivability of the weapon systems even after a first strike by India.
The expert says that, “the deployment of nuclear missiles at PAF airbase Masroor indicates Pakistan’s strategic standoff capability at sea as well as on land. The capability provides minimum time for execution thus providing maximum time for decision making.”
A satellite image posted by the expert on May 4 2016 showed Pakistani Navy replenishment ships of the 9th Aux Sqn at Karachi.
The expert had earlier posted details of a tactical nuclear missiles in Punjab province of Pakistan that houses transporter, erecter launcher vehicles as well as short-range nuclear tipped missiles.
Masroor is the largest airbase operated by the Pakistan Air Force. It is located in the Mauripur area of Karachi, in the Sindh province. The base was originally known as RPAF Station Mauripur and after 1956, as PAF Station Mauripur.