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The Ghauri, or Hatf-V, is Pakistan's main intermediate-range ballistic missile, currently being developed to counter India's Prithvi and Agni missile programs. The Ghauri-I, first successfully tested in April 1998, has a range of 1,500 km and is able to carry a 700-kg payload. It is 17m long and weighs 15 tons. The Ghauri project was developed using mostly Pakistani resources, with Chinese assistance.

Some US agencies claim the 1998 test was not the Ghauri, but a North Korean-made Nodong missile, but this assertion is disputed by Indian military sources.

The Ghauri-II, currently under development, increases this range to between 2,500 and 2,700 km. It was test fired on April 1999, a few days later after the Indian test of the Agni-II IRBM.

The Ghauri's development is spearheaded by Dr. A.Q. Khan's team, who is also responsible for Pakistan's uranium refining and weapons research. They are believed to possess the blueprints for a 1966 Chinese U-235 design weighing around 1,300 kg and delivering 13-26 kilotons, and current research is aimed at increasing the payload of the Ghauri, or decreasing the size of the warhead. Pakistan has currently carried out six underground nuclear tests, with yields ranging from 12-25 kilotons. Pakistan is considered capable of building a plutonium warhead weighing 500 kg.

It is to be deployed along the Indo-Pak border, aimed at major Indian cities. The Pakistani military believe that in the event of the destruction of their airbases (which are vulnerable to India's larger air force) in a prolonged war, the Ghauri and its cousins would be the only means of striking back. Of course, the possibility of the Ghauri mounting nuclear warheads cannot be discounted, even though Pakistan's nuclear research capability is considered to lag behind India's by a few years.

Test trials of the Ghauri-III engine were completed in September 1999 at the Kahuta Research Laboratories. Ghauri-III should reach a range of over 3,000 km, matching India's Agni-II. This would allow Pakistan to reach almost all major Indian cities, up to and including Kolkata (Calcutta). Allegedly, the missile test over Balucistan in August 2000 may have been a completed Ghauri-III.

Data taken from www.fas.org, www.binoria.org, cns.miis.edu, and www.ipcs.org.

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