Islamabad recently enhanced the NASR missile’s “flight maneuverability” and extended its range to 70 kilometers (43 miles) from 60 (37 miles).
The development of Pakistani tactical battlefield nuclear weapons has been a source of concern to the United States because their smaller size and quick deployment increases the risk of a nuclear conflict with India, say non-proliferation experts.
The Pakistani military noted in its statement the weapon system has augmented “credible deterrence” against the “prevailing and evolving threat spectrum, more effectively including enemy’s ballistic missile defense and other air defense systems.”
Pakistani officials say that the nation’s short-range battlefield NASR missile would deter the bigger neighbor India from imposing a sudden, limited assault with its massive conventional military force under New Delhi’s so-called “Cold Start” doctrine.
India buys Russian air defense system
India’s decision to buy the Russian-made S-400 Triumph air defense system has also raised alarms in Pakistan, where officials have warned the deal will “further destabilize strategic stability” and lead to a “renewed” arms race in South Asia.
Pakistan and India have fought three wars since gaining independence from Britain in 1947. The two countries have since equipped their armies with nuclear weapons, raising fears that another conventional conflict could escalate into a nuclear exchange.
The territorial dispute over Kashmir, which has sparked two wars, continues to strain bilateral ties and prevents India and Pakistan from resuming long-stalled political talks. Intermittent military clashes across the de facto Kashmir border also have become routine, causing dozens of casualties on both sides. – Voice of America