ISLAMABAD - Pakistan achieved another strategic milestone on Monday by conducting its first successful test-fire of Submarine Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM) Babur-III having a range of 450 kms in the Indian Ocean, giving the country a credible second strike capability.

With the successful launch, Pakistan has achieved strategic triad to boost its deterrence vis-a-vis India.

“Pakistan successfully test fired first Submarine launched Cruise Missile Babur-III. Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa congratulated the nation and the team involved,” ISPR Director-General Major-General Asif Ghafoor said.

He said the CJCSC Gen Zubair Mahmood Hayat, chief of air staff and the chief of naval staff also congratulated the nation and the team on the landmark achievement.

According to military’s media wing the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the missile was fired from an underwater, mobile platform and hit its target with precise accuracy.

Babur-III is a sea-based variant of Ground Launched Cruise Missile (GLCM) Babur-II, which was successfully tested in December last year.

Babur-III SLCM incorporates state-of-the-art technologies including underwater controlled propulsion and advanced guidance and navigation features, duly augmented by global navigation, terrain and scene matching systems.

The missile features terrain-hugging and sea-skimming flight capabilities to evade hostile radars and air defences, in addition to certain stealth technologies, in an emerging regional Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) environment.

Babur-III SLCM in land-attack mode is capable of delivering various types of payloads and will provide Pakistan with a credible second strike capability, augmenting deterrence.

While the pursuit, and now the successful attainment of a second strike capability by Pakistan represents a major scientific milestone, it is manifestation of the strategy of measured response to nuclear strategies and postures being adopted in Pakistan’s neighbourhood.

The test was witnessed by Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Strategic Plans Division (SPD) Director General Lieutenant General Mazhar Jamil, Commander Naval Strategic Force Command (NSFC), senior officials, scientists and engineers from Scientific Strategic Organizations.

The CJCSC and three services chiefs congratulated all the officials involved, on achieving this highly significant milestone. He also highlighted that successful test fire of SLCM also demonstrates confidence on our scientists and engineers in fostering the technological prowess, through indigenisation and self-reliance. Pakistan eyes this hallmark development as a step towards reinforcing policy of minimum credible deterrence. President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also congratulated the nation and the team.

Agencies add: A military spokesman confirmed to AFP the missile could carry a nuclear warhead.

A spokesman at the Indian defence ministry was not immediately available to comment on the Pakistani missile test.

India successfully test-fired a nuclear-capable, submarine-launched missile in 2008 and tested a submarine-launched cruise missile in 2013. Last year, Pakistan said it was "seriously concerned" by India's test of anti-ballistic missiles which media reports said could intercept incoming nuclear weapons.

According to media reports, on May 15 India tested a locally designed Anti-Ballistic Missile system which could in theory intercept a nuclear-carrying ballistic missile.