Not an actual missile but my interpretation of the Shaheen 1A
Once you get past the mass lethality of their follies, there is something bizarrely comedic about Pakistan and India test-firing their nuclear capable missiles in rapid succession.
As you know India test-fired its first long-range nuclear capable missile Agni V on April 19 much to China’s chagrin. It was only a matter of time that Pakistan answered India’s tit with its own tat, or to be phonetically more accurate, India’s tat with Pakistan’s tit.
The Pakistani test was conducted early Wednesday morning local time and involved an improved version of its intermediate-range nuclear missile. The missile, Hatf IV’s (Shahen 1A) range is said to be between 466 and 620 miles. In other words, fired from its garrison town of Rawalpindi it can very easily reach Delhi. The distance of about 420 miles between the two cities is shorter than even the lowest range of the missile.
If global missile programs are caused by the dick envy among the male leaders of nation-states, as I have always maintained, then Pakistanis can ask only one question in the aftermath of the test: “Yaar, apna missile India ke missile se chhota kyun hai? (Pal, how come our missile is smaller than India’s?”) The question is not particularly relevant because Pakistan’s entire national animus is concentrated on its immediate eastern neighbor, namely India. Their missile range is more than sufficient to very significantly destroy India’s industrial and economic backbone in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Delhi-Haryana and Punjab.
It is unlikely that Pakistan will ever need to threaten the United States or China any time soon. They ought to be content with their size for now.
It is obvious from the very short passage of time between the two tests that Islamabad keeps its powder dry and its fingers even drier. Since their missile is supposed to be an improved version, I doubt if even Pakistani missile scientists could have carried out that improvement in six days flat. They must have kept them ready precisely to counter the kind of test that India has just conducted.
Some elements of the Chinese official media were quick to ridicule that the Agni V is not long enough to be qualified as an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) because its range falls 500 kilometers or about 300 miles short of what is widely considered to be the minimum range of an ICBM. I wonder what they might say, if anything at all, about the Shaheen 1A.
I have this image of missile spotters on either side of the India-Pakistan border unblinkingly staring at the sky 24/7, waiting for either to fire. They would then rush to their own silos, polish their own missiles after blowing breath vapor on them and then rush to the control room to press the launch codes.
While one understands that in the real world deterrence is better than destruction, but should we not, as a reasonably intelligent life form, now give up forever threatening one another with annihilation? I think so.