Babur (cruise missile)

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Babur cruise missile; Hatf VII
Type Medium-range subsonic cruise missile
Place of origin Pakistan
Service history
In service Babur–I (August 11, 2005)
Babur–II (December 14, 2016)
Babur–III (January 9, 2017)
Used by Babur–I/Babur–II
Army Strategic Forces Command (ASFC)
Naval Strategic Forces Command (NSFC)
Production history
Manufacturer National Defence Complex (NDC)
Weight <1,500 kg (payload >300 kg)[citation needed]
Length 6.25 m (7 m with booster)[citation needed]
Diameter 0.52 m[citation needed]
Warhead Conventional or nuclear

Engine Turbofan
(Solid-fuel rocket booster during launch)
Wingspan 2.67 m[citation needed]
Propellant Solid fuel (booster rocket)
Liquid fuel (jet engine)
Babur–I: 700 km[1]
Babur–II: 750 km
Babur–III: 450 km
Speed 880 km/h or 550 mph (Mach 0.8)[citation needed]
Transporter erector launcher (TEL)
Agosta 90B Khalid-class submarine

Babur (Urdu: بابر; named after the first Mughal Emperor Zahir-ud-Din Babur), also designated Hatf VII, is the inter-services and joint cruise missile weapon systems in service with the Pakistan Army since 2005, and Pakistan Navy since 2017.

Babur is the first land attack cruise missile (LACM) and the first submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM) to be developed, manufactured and operationalized by Pakistan.[2] Launched from ground-based mobile transporter erector launchers (TELs), the Babur can be armed with both conventional and nuclear warheads 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]

An enhanced version of the missile has a range of 700 km and is a "low-flying, terrain hugging missle [sic] with certain stealth features"[specify][this quote needs a citation] and can be deployed against both land and sea targets.[6][7] A submarine-launched version of the missile named Babur-III was launched on January 9, 2017, from an undisclosed location in the Indian Ocean.[8]


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

Pakistan claims to have developed the Babur in response to alleged 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.[9]


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)[specify], the Babur has a maximum speed of approximately 550 mph. On launch, a booster (rocketry) 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.


The Babur's guidance system uses a combination of inertial navigation systems (INS), 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 Satellite System.[10] An upgraded variant tested on the 14 December 2016 included upgraded avionics where now the missile is able to accurately hit land and sea based targets without the aid of GPS. Also the missile is able to hit targets more accurately.[11][12][13][11]


The missile is stated to have a high degree of maneuverability, allowing it to "hug" the terrain, and "near-stealth" capabilities.[14] 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]

More advanced versions of the Babur are under development. Later versions are planned to have a range of 1000 km[5][15] and be capable of being launched from Pakistan Navy submarines such as the Agosta 90B Khalid class.[3][16]

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.[17][18] The missile was launched from a land-based transporter erector launcher (TEL).[9][19] 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]

On May 6, 2009, Pakistan conducted another test-firing but did not announce the event until 9 May 2009, citing political reasons.[20][21]

On October 28, 2011, Pakistan successfully test-fired its Babur cruise missile which has a range of 700 km. 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.[22]

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.”[23]

Pakistan conducted a successful launch of an enhanced version of the Babur 2 missile On December 14, 2016. Enhancements include upgraded aerodynamics and avionics where now the missile is able to accurately hit targets without the aid of GPS, and also target sea based targets as well land based targets.[11][12]

On January 9, 2017, Pakistan claimed to have conducted a successful launch of the Babur 3 missile from a submarine platform.[8] The Babur-III has been claimed to have a range of 450 km and be used as a second-strike capability.[24][25][26] However, defence and imagery analysts in India questioned discrepancies in the video, and called it fake footage and propaganda.[27][28]

See also[edit]

Related developments
Similar missiles
Related lists


  1. ^ "Hatf 7 "Babur" - Missile Threat". Retrieved 26 July 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d Sharif, Arshad (12 August 2005). "Pakistan test-fires its first cruise missile". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 26 July 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "Defense & Security Intelligence & Analysis: IHS Jane's – IHS". Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Pakistan test fires nuclear-capable missile". 26 July 2007. Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Babur missile". Retrieved 26 July 2017. 
  6. ^ (14 December 2016). "Pakistan conducts successful test of Babur cruise missile". Retrieved 26 July 2017. 
  7. ^ "Nuclear-capable Nirbhay cruise missile's test fails for the fourth time". 
  8. ^ a b "Pakistan fires 'first submarine-launched nuclear-capable missile' - The Express Tribune". 9 January 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2017. 
  9. ^ a b "Informatoin missing.". Paktribune. Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b c Reporter, The Newspaper's Staff (15 December 2016). "Improved version of Babur cruise missile tested successfully". Retrieved 26 July 2017. 
  12. ^ a b "Pakistan successfully test-fires cruise missile ‘Babur’ with range of 700km". 14 December 2016. 
  13. ^ "Pakistan successfully tests fires indigenous Babur Cruise Missile - The Express Tribune". 14 December 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2017. 
  14. ^ "Pakistan Tests Nuclear-Capable Cruise Missile". Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  15. ^ "Government has prepared comprehensive plan to equip armed forces: Musharraf". Associated Press of Pakistan. 30 May 2007. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  16. ^ "Home - SIPRI". Retrieved 26 July 2017. 
  17. ^ "science14.htm". 20 August 2005. Retrieved 26 July 2017. 
  18. ^ Pakistan fires new cruise missile, BBC News, 11 August 2005
  19. ^ "VOA News Report". August 2005. Retrieved 26 July 2017. 
  20. ^ "Babar missile test-fired last Wednesday". The Nation. 9 May 2009. Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  21. ^ Schmitt, Eric; Sanger, David E. (29 August 2009). "U.S. Says Pakistan Made Changes to Missiles Sold for Defense". Retrieved 26 July 2017 – via 
  22. ^ "Pakistan successfully tests Babur Cruise missile". The News Tribe. 28 October 2011. Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  23. ^ "N-capable Hatf-VII cruise missile test-fired". The News International, Pakistan. 6 June 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  24. ^ "Pakistan fires 'first submarine-launched nuclear-capable missile'". 10 January 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2017 – via Reuters. 
  25. ^ "Pakistan test-fires first submarine cruise missile Babur-3". Retrieved 26 July 2017. 
  26. ^ "Pakistan 'launches first cruise missile from submarine'". 9 January 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2017 – via 
  27. ^ "Pakistan's Babur Missile Test Claim May Be Fake, Navy Sources Tell NDTV". Retrieved 26 July 2017. 
  28. ^ "Did Pakistan fake nuclear missile Babur-3 launch? Photoshop expert thinks so". Retrieved 26 July 2017. 

External links[edit]