Babur (cruise missile)

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This article is about the Pakistani cruise missile. For other uses, see Babar (disambiguation).
Babur cruise missile/Hatf VII
Type Medium-range subsonic cruise missile
Place of origin  Pakistan
Service history
In service 11 August 2005
Used by Pakistan Army
Production history
Manufacturer National Defence Complex (NDC)
Specifications
Weight <1,500 kg (payload >300 kg)
Length 6.25 m (7 m with booster)
Diameter 0.52 m
Warhead Conventional or nuclear

Engine Turbofan
(Solid-fuel rocket booster during launch)
Wingspan 2.67 m
Propellant Solid fuel (booster rocket)
Liquid fuel (jet engine)
Operational
range
700 km[1]
Speed 880 km/h or 550 mph (Mach 0.8)
Guidance
system
INS, TERCOM/DSMAC, GPS, GLONASS
Launch
platform
Transporter Erector Launcher (TEL)

Babur (Urdu: بابر) (named after the first Mughal Emperor Zahir ud-Din Babur), also designated Hatf VII, is the first land attack cruise missile to be developed by Pakistan.[2]

Launched from ground-based transporter erector launchers, warships and submarines, the Babur can be armed with a conventional or nuclear warhead and has a reported range of 700 km (430 mi). The missile is designed to avoid radar detection and penetrate enemy air defences.[2][3][4] Serial production of the Babur started in October 2005.[5]

Origins[edit]

It has been speculated that Babur is based on the BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missile, after six Tomahawks crash-landed on Pakistani territory in 2001 during US airstrikes on targets in Afghanistan,[6] and its design seems to show this influence. The propulsion system appears to approximate that of BGM-109 Tomahawk according to videos of its launch.[7] However, there is no confirmation of this and the Pakistani missile development organisation NESCOM has rejected this theory.

A transporter erector launcher (TEL), carrying four cruise missiles, on display at the IDEAS 2008 defence exhibition, Karachi, Pakistan.
A transporter erector launcher (TEL) carrying four cruise missiles on display at the IDEAS 2008 defence exhibition in Karachi.

Babur is believed to have been developed in response to reports that India was planning to acquire Patriot missiles from the US, in order to set up a ballistic missile defense system to counter Pakistan's arsenal of ballistic missiles.[8]

Design[edit]

The Babur's airframe is made up of a tubular fuselage, with a pair of folded wings attached to the middle section and the empennage at the rear along with the propulsion system. Propelled by a jet engine (either turbofan or turbojet), the Babur has a maximum speed of approximately 550 mph. On launch, a booster rocket provides additional thrust to accelerate the missile away from the launch vehicle. After the launch the wings unfold, the booster rocket is jettisoned and the jet engine started.

Guidance[edit]

The Babur's guidance system uses a combination of inertial navigation systems, terrain contour matching (TERCOM) and GPS satellite guidance. The guidance system reportedly gives the missile pinpoint accuracy.[2] GPS access is not guaranteed under hostile conditions so the latest production models have also reportedly incorporated the Russian GLONASS. Future software and hardware updates could include the European Union's GALILEO and China's Beidou navigation system.[9]

Features[edit]

The missile is stated to have a high degree of maneuverability, allowing it to "hug" the terrain, and "near-stealth" capabilities.[10] Terrain hugging ability helps the missile avoid enemy radar detection by utilizing "terrain masking", giving Babur the capability to penetrate enemy air defence systems undetected and survive until reaching the target.[2] The missile's design features can be compared with the American BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missile.[5]

More advanced versions of the Babur are under development. Later versions are planned to have a range of 1000 km [5][11] and be capable of being launched from Pakistan Navy submarines such as the Agosta 90B Khalid class.[12][13]

Operational history[edit]

On August 12, 2005, Pakistan publicly announced that it had successfully test fired a nuclear-capable cruise missile with a range of 500 km.[14] The missile was launched from a land based transporter erector launcher (TEL).[8][15] The unannounced launch on 11 August 2005 caught much of the international community by surprise due to the technically advanced nature of the missile, as well as the fact that Pakistan did not notify India of its test-firing as the existing notification agreement is limited to ballistic missile testing only.

On March 22, 2007, Pakistan test-fired an upgraded version of the Babur with an extended range of 700 km.[4] Pakistan carried out two more tests of Babur on July 26, 2007 and December 11, 2007.[citation needed]

On May 6, 2009, Pakistan conducted another test-firing but did not announce the event until 9 May 2009, citing political reasons.[16][17]

On October 28, 2011. Pakistan successfully test fire its Babur Cruise missile and has a range of 700 kilometer. The ISPR said Babur was capable of carrying conventional and atomic warheads. A special feature of this launch was the validation of a new multi tube Missile Launch Vehicle (MLV) during the test. The three tube MLV enhances manifold the targeting and deployment options in the conventional and nuclear modes. With its shoot-and-scoot capability, the MLV provides a major force multiplier effect for target employment and survivability.[18]


On June 6, 2012 Pakistan conducted a successful test-fire of the multi-tube, indigenously developed Cruise Missile Hatf-VII (Babur), which can carry both nuclear and conventional warheads with stealth capabilities. It was the third test-fire conducted by Pakistan in the recent past, of different capacity and load. “It can carry both nuclear and conventional warheads and has stealth capabilities,” said an official announcement of the ISPR. “It also incorporates the most modern cruise missile technology of Terrain Contour Matching (Tercom) and Digital Scene Matching and Area Co-relation (DSMAC), which enhances its precision and effectiveness manifolds.”[19]

See also[edit]

Related developments
Similar missiles

References[edit]

External links[edit]