H-4 SOW

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H-4
Type Precision-guided glide bomb
Place of origin  Pakistan
Service history
In service 2003 - Present [1][2]
Used by Pakistan Air Force
Production history
Manufacturer NESCOM
Specifications
Warhead High explosives

Engine Solid propellant booster rocket
Operational
range
120 km
Guidance
system
Electro-optical (infra-red imaging)
Launch
platform
Combat aircraft

The H-4 SOW (Stand-Off Weapon) is a precision-guided glide bomb manufactured by Pakistan and deployed by the Pakistan Air Force, capable of striking targets at stand-off range. It has a terminal guidance system based on an infrared imaging seeker, which identifies the target during the final stage of flight. Designed to hit targets out to 120 km, the bomb may have the capability to evade radar. [2]

History[edit]

According to Pakistani press reports, the H-4 glide bomb was created by Pakistan's National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM), working in collaboration with the Pakistan Missile Organisation and Air Weapons Complex in Pakistan, by modifying the design of the South African Denel T-Darter beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air missile. A lighter version of the H-4 has also been produced, the H-2 SOW, which has a stated range of 60 km.

Three successful tests were conducted, the last one in 2003, which led to field deployment on the Dassault Mirage III and Mirage V strike fighters of the Pakistan Air Force. It has also been stated that the H-4 will be integrated with the PAF's new multi-role combat aircraft, the JF-17, which is replacing the ageing fleet of Mirage III and Mirage V aircraft. All Pakistani JF-17 fighters, from the initial JF-17 Block 1 model to the final Block 3 version, will be capable of launching the H-4. [3]

The H-4's stated range of 120 km and its glide bomb design has led to speculation that it may be a copy or a Pakistani variant of the Denel Raptor II glide bomb, which is also guided by an infrared imaging seeker and has a range of 120 km. [2][4]

There has been much confusion regarding the actual identity of the H-4. Many Indian sources state that the weapon is actually a beyond visual range air-to-air missile. However, Pakistani sources state that the H-4 is a "beyond visual range bomb".

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sharif, Arshad (18 December 2003). "PAF adds new bombs to its arsenal". Dawn. Retrieved 5 September 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Fisher, Jr., Richard (29 October 2004). "Report On the International Defense Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS)". International Assessment and Strategy Center (IASC). Retrieved 26 June 2009. 
  3. ^ Ansari, Usman (7 February 2013). "Despite Missile Integration, Nuke Role Unlikely for Pakistan’s JF-17". Defense News. Retrieved 5 September 2013. 
  4. ^ Ansari, Usman. "The JF-17 Thunder: A hefty punch at an affordable price.". Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. 

External links[edit]