Pakistan has test-launched the new Ra’ad II nuclear-capable, air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) variant.

According to a statement released by Pakistani military media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the air-launched missile has a range of 600km.

Ra’ad II missile, which is an enhanced version of Ra’ad I missile, was unveiled in 2017.

With a range of 350km, Ra’ad I missile was first test-fired in 2007.

ISPR said: “The weapon system is equipped with state of the art guidance and navigation systems ensuring the engagement of targets with high precision.”

The missile has been designed to improve the Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) ‘air delivered strategic standoff capability on land and at sea’.

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A low-resolution video showed the Ra’ad II cruise missile was launched from a French-built Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Mirage III fighter aircraft.

The air test-launch was witnessed by Strategic Plans Division director general lieutenant general Nadeem Zaki Manj, NESCOM chairman Dr Nabeel Hayat Malik, and senior officers from Strategic Plans Division, Strategic Forces and Strategic Organizations.

Manj said the missile launch is ‘a major step towards complementing Pakistan’s deterrence capability’.

The latest variant seems to be installed with conventional tail fin configuration when compared to previous variants that feature ‘twin-tail’ configuration.

The missile is said to be 4.85m long and can carry conventional and nuclear payloads. Ra’ad is also known as the Hatf VIII.