Pakistan on Wednesday said it had successfully conducted the launch of the Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile Hatf IV Shaheen-1A Weapon System. The missile — capable of carrying both nuclear and conventional warheads — is billed as an improved version of Shaheen-1 in terms of range and technical parameters.

Pakistanis got wind of the upcoming missile test from the Indian media after Islamabad informed New Delhi about its plans to conduct a "long range missile test" in the Indian Ocean. Advance notice was given to India about the test in accordance with the May 2005 agreement regarding pre-notification of flight testing of ballistic missiles. India had similarly informed Pakistan about its upcoming test of Agni-V last week in advance.

The test launch was witnessed by Director General Strategic Plans Division Khalid Ahmed who said 'Shaheen-1A' would consolidate and strengthen Pakistan's deterrence abilities. A statement issued by the Inter Services Public Relations did not disclose the range of the missile though the original Shaheen-1 Ballistic Missile System had a range of 700 km.

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