First test of Pakistan's Nasr missile on April 19, 2011
Nasr, is a 60 km range mobile Surface to Surface Ballistic Missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads. The missile is stored and fired from multiple tubes mounted on a vehicle.
The Nasr missile appears to be aimed at countering India's cold start strategy, which entails rapid mobilization of armor at select points along the border to strike deep into Pakistan territory following any grave provocation from Pakistan. Traditional mobilization along the entire border typically takes months.
The Nasr was first tested on Aprol 19, 2011.
Describing the test, a press release by Pakistan's Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.
Pakistan today successfully conducted the 1st flight test of the newly developed Short Range Surface to Surface Multi Tube Ballistic Missile Hatf IX (NASR). The missile has been developed to add deterrence value to Pakistan’s Strategic Weapons Development programme at shorter ranges. NASR, with a range of 60 km, carries nuclear warheads of appropriate yield with high accuracy, shoot and scoot attributes. This quick response system addresses the need to deter evolving threats.
On the occasion, the Director General Strategic Plans Division, Lieutenant General (Retired) Khalid Ahmed Kidwai said that the test was a very important milestone in consolidating Pakistan’s strategic deterrence capability at all levels of the threat spectrum. He said in that hierarchy of military operations, the NASR Weapon System now provides Pakistan with short range missile capability in addition to the already available medium and long range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles in its inventory.
The missile was successfully tested for a second time on May 29, 2012.
A press release that accompanied the test said.
"This quick response system addresses the need to deter evolving threats, specially at shorter ranges."
A 60km range nuclear missile is undoubtedly a first use counter force nuclear weapon. It does not represent a second strike deterrent capability against Indian cities. It's a pure offensive nuclear weapon.
Pakistan's development of the missile reiterates its declared intent to use nuclear first strike against India to avoid any humiliating defeat in conventional warfare.
When it becomes operational, Pakistan could forward deploy the Nasr missile surreptitiously at vulnerable points along its border with India, ahead of executing any covert operations against India, like the Mumbai terror strikes.
Any cold start response by India would then need to factor in a crippling tactical nuclear strike by Pakistan using Nasr missiles against our conventional forces.
If the forward deployment of the missile was detected by India, Pakistan could plead that the weapon, with its 60km range, was purely defensive and didn't threaten India in any way.