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The Shaheen missile
Though a missile may be any thrown or launched object, it colloquially almost always refers to a self-propelled guided weapon system.-Etymology:The word missile comes from the Latin verb mittere, meaning "to send"...

 series, named after a species of falcon
A falcon is any species of raptor in the genus Falco. The genus contains 37 species, widely distributed throughout Europe, Asia, and North America....

 found in the mountains of Pakistan, was developed by NESCOM's National Defence Complex (NDC)
National Defence Complex
The National Development Complex , is an aerospace and defense agency of the Ministry of Defence of Government of Pakistan, located in Fateh Jang, Punjab Province of Pakistan. The NDC was founded in 1990 by the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission chairman, Mr...

 of Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

. Shaheen I is also designated Hatf IV.


Shaheen I is a short-range ballistic missile (SRBM)
Short-range ballistic missile
A short-range ballistic missile is a ballistic missile with a range of about 1,000 km or less. They are usually capable of carrying nuclear weapons. In potential regional conflicts, these missiles would be used because of the short distances between some countries and their relative low cost...

 with an optimal range of 750 km, while Shaheen II is a medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM)
Medium-range ballistic missile
A medium-range ballistic missile , is a type of ballistic missile with medium range, this last classification depending on the standards of certain organizations. Within the U.S. Department of Defense, a medium range missile is defined by having a maximum range of between 1,000 and 3,000 km1...

 with an optimal range of 3000 - 3500 km propelled by a two stage solid fuel
Solid fuel
Solid fuel refers to various types of solid material that are used as fuel to produce energy and provide heating, usually released through combustion....

 rocket motor. The Shaheen I can deliver either a conventional or a nuclear payload much faster than liquid fuelled missiles such as the Ghauri
Ghauri (missile)
The Hatf V, named Ghauri , is a medium-range ballistic missile developed by Kahuta Research Laboratories of Pakistan. Powered by a single stage liquid fuel rocket motor, the missile has an optimum range of 1,500 km and can carry a payload of 700 kg...

 because it does not need to be fuelled before launch, reducing deployment time significantly.

The Shaheen I and Shaheen II are believed to be very accurate; Pakistani military sources state a CEP
Circular error probable
In the military science of ballistics, circular error probable is an intuitive measure of a weapon system's precision...

 of 25 to 50 m can be achieved, partly due to a "post-separation attitude correction system." This system would allow the missile to modify its trajectory, improving accuracy and, along with the stealthy warhead shaping, giving some capability to evade missile defence systems. It is based on terminal guidance system technology, which improves warhead accuracy by firing small thrusters to adjust the warhead's trajectory and uses satellite navigation systems to help find the target. Such systems would allow the Shaheen to be used against strategic targets without requiring a nuclear warhead to ensure the target's destruction.

Operational history

The Shaheen I was first test-launched on April 15, 1999. Two test-launches of a second version with greater range and improved accuracy were carried out in October 2002 and two more in October 2003. A batch of Shaheen I missiles, enough to equip one regiment/battery, was handed over to the Pakistan Army
Pakistan Army
The Pakistan Army is the branch of the Pakistani Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. The Pakistan Army came into existence after the Partition of India and the resulting independence of Pakistan in 1947. It is currently headed by General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. The Pakistan...

 in 2003 along with mobile launchers. Another was tested on 8 May 2010

See also

  • Ballistic missile
    Ballistic missile
    A ballistic missile is a missile that follows a sub-orbital ballistic flightpath with the objective of delivering one or more warheads to a predetermined target. The missile is only guided during the relatively brief initial powered phase of flight and its course is subsequently governed by the...

  • Solid fuel rocket
  • Pakistan and weapons of mass destruction
    Pakistan and weapons of mass destruction
    Pakistan began focusing on nuclear weapons development in January 1972 under the leadership of Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who delegated the program to the Chairman of PAEC Munir Ahmad Khan...

Related developments
  • Shaheen I
  • Shaheen II
    The Shaheen-II is an medium range ballistic missile developed by NESCOM's National Defence Complex of Pakistan. The Shaheen missile series is named after a falcon that lives in the mountains of Pakistan...

  • Shaheen III
    The Shaheen III is a Pakistani intermediate-range ballistic missile speculated to be in development with a range of 4000-4500 km. It is a member of the solid-fueled Shaheen series missile family and is envisioned to replace the less advanced liquid-fueled Ghauri-III system whose development was...

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