It is said that the Chinese first used missiles in the 13 century. Germans used V-2 rockets during WW2, while bombing London with a range of 320 kilometers. The Gulf war started with Tomahawk cruise missiles attacks and out of 300 missiles fired, 85% got their targets with accuracy. Iraq responded with Russian made Scud missiles extensively with a range of 450 kilometers. In South Asia, Pakistan and India too are in possession of a variety of missiles of varying ranges capable of carrying a nuclear war head.

In her desire to emerge as a power in the Asia, India has undertaken an ambitious upgradation and expansion programme. She acquired the latest S-400 missiles from Russia where they were in service since 2007. The missile can destroy strategic and tactical targets including aircrafts, cruise missiles, hypersonic weapons and also ground installations. It can engage targets at 400 kilometers and at an altitude of up to 30 kilometers under intense enemy fire and jamming. India is getting 5 squadrons of S-400 by the end of 2023. The deal was signed in 2018 and was worth 5 billion dollars. Surprisingly, these missiles have been deployed against Pakistan in Indian Punjab to counter aerial threats. According to an Indian air force official, S-400 will restrict PAF from operations closer to the border and LOC. The S-400 radar can look 600 kilometers inside Pakistan’s air space and can be used against aircraft, drone and cruise missiles. According to an Indian former vice chief of air staff, the reason for deployment was Pakistan’s severe hostility towards India. After the Balakot Tree attack, downing of its jets and the capture of the pilot, there were reports that India planned to fire 6 missiles at Pakistani cities. India was informed directly and through friends that Pakistan would respond with missiles three times over if India commits such attempts. Indian Prime Minister confirmed that India had readied 12 missiles for attack against Pakistan in an election rally. Later it was also confirmed through the media that India moved the Prithvi ballistic surface short range ballistic missile against Pakistan. The Prithvi has range from 150 kilometers to 250 kilometers.

China has a superior missile weapon system like DF-16 which has the ability to strike at regional targets. Pakistan has a variety of missiles in its arsenal with the capability to strike across India, cause immense damage and has the ability to launch nuclear strikes by land, sea and air. We have short and medium range ballistic missiles which can target any place in India. Pakistan has named its missiles after the Muslim heroes. Nasr is a short range nuclear missile with a range of 60 kilometers. It is a low yield battle field weapon that makes Pakistan’s deterrence more credible. Raad is an air launched cruise missile with a range of 350 to 550 kilometers. It is considered as an antidote to S-400. It can hit targets on land and at sea with great precision. Babur-2 is a ground launched cruise missile with a range of 700 kilometers and Babar-3 sea launched with a range of 450 kilometers. The Ghaznavi missile is capable of delivering multiple types of warheads up to a range of 290 kilometers. Ghauri is a surface to surface ballistic missile that can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads up to a distance of 1300 kilometers. Abdalli is a supersonic missile with a range from 280 to 450 kilometers.

Pakistan has also series of Shaheen missiles ranging from 750 kilometers to 2750 kilometers. With these missiles, Pakistan can engage Indian targets of politico-strategic, military and tactical targets. India too has named its missiles after kings and gods like Agni, Trishul, Arjun, Bhishma and some are named in Sanskrit. The missiles in Pakistan’s arsenal have strengthened its strategic deterrence to prevent a situation from escalating. The missiles in Pakistan’s arsenal can engage deep Indian targets of politico-strategic value for causing demoralisation and strategic paralysis. Pakistani missiles have provided Pakistan with the flexibility to switch targets and augment its conventional fire power by enhanced deterrence capabilities.