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China provides ‘high-performance tracking system’ for Pakistan’s missile programme

Pakistan Day Parade

China has sold Pakistan a powerful tracking system in an unprecedented deal that could speed up the Pakistan’s missile programme and military’s development of multi-warhead missiles, according to South China Morning Post.

News of the sale to Islamabad – and evidence that Beijing is supporting rapidly developing Pakistan’s  missile programme – comes two months after India tested its most advanced nuclear-ready intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with a range long enough to hit Beijing or Shanghai, the article in the Chinese daily observes.

According to the publication, Chinese authorities declassified information about the deal on Wednesday.

A statement on the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) website said China was the first country to export such sensitive equipment for high performance tracking system for Pakistan’s missile program.

Zheng Mengwei, a researcher with the CAS Institute of Optics and Electronics in Chengdu, Sichuan province, confirmed to the South China Morning Post that Pakistan had bought a highly sophisticated, large-scale optical tracking and measurement system from China.

Alarming arms race among Pakistan, India and China

The country’s military recently deployed the Chinese-made system “at a firing range” for use in testing and developing its new missiles, he said.

India’s January 18 test of its Agni-V ICBM, with a range of more than 5,000km (3,100 miles), is seen as a message that the country can deploy a credible nuclear deterrent against China, and Beijing is determined to counter it.

While the Hindu-majority country’s single-warhead missiles are bigger and cover longer distances, Pakistan has focused its efforts on developing multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs), a type of missile-carrying several nuclear warheads that can be directed towards different targets.

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The US Defence Intelligence Agency officially confirmed in March that Pakistan conducted the first test launch of its nuclear-capable Ababeel missile in January 2017, “demonstrating South Asia’s first MIRV payload”.

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Although the Ababeel missile has a range of only 2,200km, it can deliver numerous warheads to different targets. The technology has the potential to overwhelm a missile defence system, wiping out an adversary’s nuclear arsenal in one surprise attack.

SOURCE: https://tribune.com.pk/story/1666541/9-china-provides-high-performance-tracking-system-pakistans-missile-programme/

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