Pakistani military sources say Islamabad proceeded three days ago testing a new cruise missile intended for Pakistani combat aircraft. This missile, designated Ra'ad-II, is a deeply modernized derivative of the Ra'ad-I tested more than 10 years ago and which could be integrated in small quantities into the arsenal of Pakistani Mirage III weapons.
Compared to the Ra'ad-I, the Ra'ad-II (or Haft-8 Mk.2) would have an almost doubled range taking it to nearly 600km. It would be equipped with a modern guidance system and could serve as a basis for the development of an anti-ship version. With a mass of around one ton, the missile would swap the old massive control surfaces of the Ra'ad-I for an X-shaped tailplane arrangement, more compact and resulting in less aerodynamic drag. For Islamabad, the development of cruise missiles of all types, notably airborne, is seen as a strategic priority in the face of the development of long-range strike capabilities of the Indian Air Force.
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