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Type Medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM)
Place of origin Pakistan Pakistan
Service history
In service Strategic Plans Division
(Army SFCOM, Air Force SFCOM)
Space Research Commission
Used by  Pakistan
Production history
Designed Classified
Manufacturer Nescom and Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission
Variants Shaheen-I and Shaheen-II
Effective firing range 2750 km
Warhead HE/NE

Engine Multi-stage Solid-fuel rocket[citation needed]
Propellant Solid-fuel system[citation needed]
2750 km (1,708 miles)[1]
Speed Mach 18
Inertial guidance
Transporter erector launcher (TEL)
Transport spaceport or TEL

The Shaheen-III (Urdu: شاہین–ااا; lit. White Falcon-III) is a land-based surface-to-surface medium range ballistic missile, which was test fired for the first time by military service on 9 March 2015.[2][3]

Development began in secrecy in the early 2000s in response to India's Agni-III, Shaheen was successfully tested on 9 March 2015 with 2750 km (1700 mi) range, which could enable it all corners of India and reach deep into the Middle East parts of North Africa and Southern Europe.[4]

The Shaheen program is composed of the solid-fuel system in a contrast to Ghauri program that is primarily based on liquid-fuel system.[5] With the successful launch of the Shaheen', it surpasses the range of Shaheen-II— hence it is the longest-range missile to be launched by the military.[6]


Development history[edit]

In 2000, the Space Research Commission concluded at least two design studies for its space launch vehicle.[7] Initially, there were two earlier designs were shown in IDEAS held in 2002 and its design was centered on developing a space booster based on the design technologies of the Shaheen-I.[7] Since then, Shaheen owes its existence largely to the joint efforts led by NDC of NeScom and Space Research Commission.[7]

The Shaheen-III was shrouded in top secrecy and very little information was available to the public, mostly provided in 2002 IDEAS.[7] Majority of the efforts and funding was being made available to Ghauri-III to seek strike in Eastern region of India.[8] In May 2000, the Ghauri-III was cancelled due to its less advance and lack of technological gain.[8] Despite strong advocacy by Abdul Qadeer Khan for the Ghauri-III program made to be feasible, the program was terminated by then-President Pervez Musharraf who made the funding available for Shaheen-III program which was to be led under Samar Mubarakmand.[9] The Air Force, however, pressed for Shaheen-III to make it feasible as liquids were being developed that would allow the missiles to be left in a ready-to-shoot form for extended periods.[10]

The Shaheen-III was initially purposed as the space booster for the space program to make it possible for installing the satellite payload applications.[7] Despite its efforts, the existence of Shaheen-III continued to be speculated in news media as Ministry of Defence and the Joint Staff HQ nor confirms or deny the existence of the program.[7]

In a press conference held in Lahore in 2009, Samar Mubarakmand stated that: "Pakistan would launch its own satellite in April 2011."[11] Although no confirmation or denial of Shaheen program's existence was given by Dr. Mubarakmand, the rumors and speculations yet to be continued for the existence of the program.[11]

After years of speculations, the Shaheen-III was eventually revealed and tested on 9 March 2015 with a 2750 km (1700-mile) range.[12]


On 9 March 2015, the ISPR released a press statement on notifying the successful testing of the Shaheen-III that was conducted from the southern coast off the Arabian Sea.[13]

Military officials from JS HQ, SPD scientists and engineers, oversaw the launch of the system and witnessed the impact point in the Arabian Sea.[14] Reports summed up by NTI, there had been series of testings taken place of the rocket engine nozzles before the eventual tests took place in 2015.[15]


Strategic prospect[edit]

Several Pakistani nuclear and military strategists reportedly quoted that the "Shaheen-III has a range greater than that of any other missile system in-service.[3] Earlier testings of Shaheen-II had the maximum range of about 2,500km, which meant it can reach all parts of India even eastern frontier.[3]

Air Marshal Shahid Latif, a retired senior commander in the Pakistan Air Force, noted the strategic significance of missile: "Now, India doesn’t have its safe heavens anymore. It's all a reaction to India, which has now gone even for tests of extra-regional missiles. It sends a [very] loud message: If you hurt us, we are going to hurt you back.!"[3]

Mansoor Ahmad, a professor of Strategic studies at the Islamabad's Quaid-i-Azam University, stated that: "Pakistan's military, however, is not interested in a "tit-for-tat" arms race with India." and speculated that developmental work may be under progress to make missile capable of delivering multiple warheads which would make them harder to defend against.[3]

Peace prospect[edit]

In a views of political scientist, dr. Farrukh Saleem, the Shaheen-III seems to be a reaction to Indian-generated threats.[16] Dr. Saleem, on the other hand, stressed that: "Pakistan does not seem to be aiming at competing with India but Pakistan's aims seem to revolve around the creation of a credible deterrence, and a credible deterrence is bound to strengthen strategic stability."[16]

Dr. Farrukh Saleem's views were also echoed by Mansoor Ahmad who maintained that: "Pakistan hopes to improve "existing capabilities," including new delivery systems for evading an Indian missile defense shield.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Haider, Mateen (10 March 2015). "Test launch of Shaheen-III ballistic missile successful". Dawn News, 2015. Dawn News. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Craig, Tim (9 March 2015). "Pakistan tests missile that could carry nuclear warhead to every part of India". Special report by Time Craig, correspondent of Washington Post-Asia Pacific Bureau. Washington Post-Asia Pacific Bureau. Washington Post. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  4. ^ Analysis. "Shaheen-III Ballistic Missile: Enforcing Strategic Deterrence". 
  5. ^ "Musharraf stopped funds for Ghauri-III missile". 28 May 2011. Archived from the original on 4 December 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  6. ^ Shukla, Jayoti (10 March 2015). "Pakistan successfully conducted the flight test of ballistic missile Shaheen-III". India Today-Asia Bureau. India Today. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f Pike, John. "Shaheen-III: Space Booster development". Global Security, Inc. Retrieved 11 March 2015.  External link in |website= (help)
  8. ^ a b Khan, Abdul Qadeer (28 May 2011). "Musharraf stopped funds for Ghauri-III missile saying: "Do you want to destroy Israel"". News International. News International. Archived from the original on 28 May 2011. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  9. ^ "Pakistan Pushes To Improve Missile Strike Capability". Defense News. 2008-11-17. Retrieved 2011-03-28. [dead link]
  10. ^ Ansari, Usman (17 November 2008). "Pakistan Pushes To improve Missile Strike Capability" Check |url= value (help). Defence News, 2008. Defence News. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  11. ^ a b Pike, John. "Pakistan Finally Dropped the Other Shoe". Pakistan Finally Dropped the Other Shoe. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  12. ^ "Pakistan Conducts Successful test launch of Shaheen III". Express Tribune. 9 March 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  13. ^ ISPR Press Release. "Shaheen 3 Missile test: ISPR". ISPR. Retrieved 11 March 2015.  External link in |website= (help)
  14. ^ Associated Agencies (10 March 2015). "Pakistan successfully tests Shaheen-III missile". Daily Times, Pakistan. Daily Times, Pakistan. Retrieved 11 March 2015. [permanent dead link]
  15. ^ NTI. "Delivery system". \ Nuclear Threat Initiative. Retrieved 11 March 2015.  External link in |website= (help)
  16. ^ a b Saleem, Farrukh (10 March 2015). "Shaheen-III to force India to talk peace". Opinion work published by Dr. Farrukh Saleem. News International, 2015. News International, Opinion. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 

External links[edit]