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Pakistan Navy test fires missiles in Arabian Sea manoeuvres

In this handout picture released by the Pakistan Navy, a target ship is hit by a missile during a naval firepower test conducted by the Pakistan Navy in the north Arabian Sea on Friday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: AFP

Says the exercise was a message to “nefarious” forces

Islamabad: The Pakistan Navy on Friday fired a variety of missiles and torpedoes from warships, submarines and aircraft in an intensive firepower drill in the north Arabian Sea. It said the exercise was a message to “nefarious” forces, an apparent reference to India.

“While [giving a reassurance about the] Pakistan Navy's commitment to defending the motherland, this strike capability would also send a message of deterrence to anyone harbouring nefarious designs against Pakistan,” a Navy statement said after the manoeuvres.

The manoeuvres were aimed at assessing the lethality, precision and efficacy of weapon systems, the statement said.

Newly-inducted weapons systems, including anti-surface missiles on Chinese-made F-22 P frigates and air-to-surface missiles of the P3C maritime surveillance aircraft were among those tested.

An important feature of the drill was the firing of subsurface-to-surface missiles by Agosta 90B submarines.

“The target set was successfully engaged,” the statement said.

Naval Chief Admiral Noman Bashir, who witnessed the event, expressed satisfaction at the operational readiness of the Pakistan Navy fleet, and commended officers and men for their commitment and professionalism.

Area cleared

The weapon firing zone, spread over hundreds of miles, was cleared of all merchant ships and fishing craft during a special operation to ensure the safe conduct of the drill. The missiles fired included the French-acquired SM 39 surface-to-surface missiles, and the AM 39 air launched version of the same missile.

The naval exercise comes after Pakistan reportedly recently acquired 120 Chinese C802 long-range anti-ship cruise missiles to counter the Indian Navy's BrahMos missiles. — PTI