Pakistan successfully launched an upgraded intermediate-range ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead today, the country's military establishment stated.
The Hatf IV Shaheen-1A missile was fired into the sea, the statement said. It was described as an intermediate-range missile having a longer range than its predecessor Shaheen-1, which has a range of 750 km. The range of the new version was not announced.
Khalid Ahmed Kidwai, who heads Pakistan's Strategic Plans Division (which controls the country's nuclear programme), said the improved version of the missile would ''further strengthen and consolidate Pakistan's deterrence capabilities''.
"The improved version of Shaheen-1A will further consolidate and strengthen Pakistan's deterrence abilities," the retired lieutenant-general, who was among the witnesses at the launch, added.
The Pakistani launch came exactly a week after India launched its long-range missile Agni-V last Wednesday.
According to the website GlobalSecurity.org, intermediate-range ballistic missiles have a range of 3,000 to 5,000 km. At its maximum, this would match the range of Agni-V.