How true is Nawaz Sharif's claim of making Babar missile from reverse engineering of Tomahawk missile?

Pakistan officially claims to have developed other missiles, including Babar, locally by domestic scientists and engineers.


Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday claimed in London that Pakistani Babar missiles were manufactured by reverse engineering of American missiles.

Talking to reporters, Nawaz Sharif had said, "I have made half of the missiles and this Tomahawk is also made by Nawaz Sharif." We brought them from Balochistan when Clinton fired rockets at Afghanistan.

"One of these missiles was found," he added. there are no small services for us and we are proud that we have done this service.

On the occasion, former finance minister Ishaq Dar corrected him and said that the missiles were not Tomahawk cruises, to which Nawaz Sharif reiterated that he was talking about cruise missiles. Keep in mind that the Tomahawk missile is a cruise missile.

However, at the official level, Pakistan claims to have developed other missiles, including the Babar, at the local level through domestic scientists and engineers.

What is the background to this claim?

The incident took place in August 1998 when the United States decided to launch an operation against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan from the Arabian Sea in the name of Operation Infant Reach.

The operation was aimed at targeting Osama bin Laden's hideouts and al-Qaeda training centers in the Khost region of Afghanistan. A similar hideout was to be destroyed in Sudan under the same operation.

The bomber struck shortly after noon in front of a U.S. military base in Tanzania and Kenya. The blasts killed an estimated 224 people, including Americans, and injured more than 4,000.

According to Steve Cole's book Ghost Wars, the White House debated whether to inform Pakistan of the operation, as the Tomahawk cruise missile used in the operation was to reach Afghanistan via Balochistan. Given this, there is a strong possibility that the intelligence passed to Osama bin Laden.

Therefore, it was decided that Pakistan would be informed about the operation only ten minutes before the operation.

Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday claimed to have made Pakistani Babar missile from reverse engineering of US missile in London.

But on August 20, in the uninhabited areas of Makran's coastal strip and Hoshab, some locals found wreckage of military equipment that they did not understand.

The BBC spoke to nuclear scientist Dr Samar Mubarakmand, founder of Nasscom and former director of Pakistan's Missile and Research Program.

He said 72 Tomahawk missiles had been fired at Osama bin Laden's alleged hideouts in Afghanistan at the time. "Since they all had to pass through Pakistani airspace to reach the Afghan province of Khost, the two missiles were apparently technical. Falling into uninhabited areas of Balochistan due to damage.

Pakistan has been under US sanctions for its defense equipment since the 1990s because of its nuclear program. When Pakistan detonated its atomic bomb in the same year, these defense and economic sanctions were tightened.

According to the newspapers of that time, the wreckage of American cruise missiles Tomahawk was found at two different places in Kharan area near Makran coastal strip in Balochistan. The wreckage was seized when locals reported it to law enforcement agencies, and the military immediately handed it over to agencies linked to its strategic program to investigate.

But there are conflicting opinions on the condition of the missiles. 

Dr. Samar Mubarakmand disagrees, saying, "This missile is very fragile and it is ridiculous that it falls to the ground and does not break into pieces." It is true that Pakistan got missiles from this area but they were few pieces, what research can be done on the destroyed debris and small pieces?

US Department of Defense officials at the time said that even if this happened, it is not a matter of danger because Tomahawk has been on the open market for a long time, even during the war in Iraq many missiles were lost but Neither Iraq nor any other country could do their reverse engineering.

However, in 2009, US newspapers reported that US intelligence agencies had received information about a missile test in Pakistan that had been kept secret.

India's claim to have successfully tested Pakistan's Babar-3 missile has raised suspicions

Pakistan's foreign office denied the reports, calling them "fabricated" and making a unique offer that the United States could, if it so wished, review its sold missile system, which was never tampered with. The then Foreign Minister had said that "Pakistan has the full potential to build its own missile system and Pakistani scientists are well versed in this task."

The news came after Pakistan's test of the Babar cruise missile. It should be noted that the capability and design of the Babar missile is similar to that of the Harpoon and Tomahawk missiles.

Former General Amjad Shoaib told the BBC: "When General (retd) Khalid Kadwai was the head of the SPD, the United States accepted Pakistan's offer and sent a team of scientists to Pakistan to launch Pakistan-made missiles.

According to the Washington Post, a senior Pakistani official at the time called the wreckage a "gift from God" but clarified that "it is not yet known in what condition the missile was found."

How true is Nawaz Sharif's claim about cruise missiles?

Commenting on the statement, Dr Samar Mubarakmand said: This is not technically possible, because even if you copy the structure, the real work is the software, which is completely controlled by the manufacturer.

He says Pakistani scientists themselves have worked day and night on these programs and developed these missiles locally. Work on the Babar Cruise Missile began in 2000, and the Babar One was successfully tested in 2005.

Pakistan tested the Babar Three Cruise Missile, a surface-to-surface and stealth technology missile, in 2017, making it the fifth country in the world to complete its triad. That is, Pakistan had acquired the capability to fire nuclear weapons from land, air and sea.

At the time, the Pakistan Army's Public Relations Department (ISPR) had said in a statement that the Babar Cruise III missile was 100 percent accurate at its target.

Dr. Samar Mubarakmand says, "It is even true that whenever there is a need to buy arms or start a project like missile development, a detailed report is submitted to the Prime Minister in which its importance, necessity." And there is a briefing on expenses, so to the extent that we can say that Nawaz Sharif was the Prime Minister at the time, he had approved the budget of the program, but it could not be said that this missile was his idea. Was or they made. All our hard work has been done by our own scientists without any reverse engineering.

Which missiles are being developed by Pakistan?

Pakistan is currently developing both ballistic and cruise missiles. Simply put, ballistic missiles are intended to wreak havoc over a large area, while cruise missiles are usually capable of precisely destroying a target of a small size. Ballistic missiles fly many times faster than sound, while cruise missiles reach their targets using their "machine intelligence" despite their low speeds.

Cruise missiles are smaller in size than ballistic missiles, but they are significantly slower than ballistic missiles and have a range between supersonic and hypersonic.

It can fly very close to the ground, even the height of a tree, which is why it can escape the radar. After firing this missile, its direction and target can be changed during the flight. Cruise missiles are also called color supercomputers because they use state-of-the-art computerized systems ranging from guiding to hitting the target.


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