The Ghauri is a land-based surface-to-surface medium-range ballistic missile, in current service with the Army’s Strategic Forces Command a subordinate command of Strategic Plans Division. Designed and developed by Khan Research Laboratories (KRL), the missile system uses a single stage liquid fuel rocket motor to carry a payload of 700 kg to a range of 1,500 km. Two variants of the Ghauri were produced under the secretivemissile research programme started in 1987 and the development of a third variant was cancelled. The Ghauri-II uses increased motor assembly length and improved propellants for an increased range of 2,300 km (1,400 mi).
The missile is named after Shahabuddin Muhammad Ghauri, while the “Hatf” designation originates from the name of the sword or lance of Muhammad.
Upon its development, the missile’s name is traced in the remembrance of the 12th century Afghan King Shahabuddin Ghauri, by a senior scientist who worked on the program with a keen interests in medieval history. Afghan King Ghauri successfully campaigned for the northwestern region of India between 1176 and 1182, but was defeated in his first battle for northern India by Indian King Prithviraj Chauhan.
However, the JS HQ officially has the codename for the missile as “Hatf–5 (Ghauri–I); the Hatf codename originated from the name of the sword or lance of Muhammad.
Design and development
According to the American intelligence estimates in 1999, the Ghauri–I is influenced and its design development is based on the Rodong-1 missile of North Korea. According to the American Federation of Atomic Scientists, the Ghauri–I is believed to inherit a warhead spin-up mechanism from the Rodong 1 and it is stated that this feature could improve accuracy up to 190mCEP— although this is still debatable. The mechanism involved using steering vanes to spin the missile after 100 seconds of flight time. After 110 seconds, the rocket motor stops and the warhead separates from the rocket motor. The warhead then enters a more stable re-entry trajectory due to the spinning motion. Warhead accuracy would be further enhanced if the Ghauri’s inertial navigation system is capable of being updated by GPS satellite signals.
On Pakistan’s own unofficial admission, the technology transfer took place in 1990s in return of the instructions on theenrichment methods of uranium Not much has been publicized as controversy surrounds on the fact when it was claimed that North Korean nuclear efforts were well advance from before the instructions on the enrichment methods of uranium were provided.
According to the Pakistani military reports, the original design of the missile was flawed and the missile burned up on re-entryduring its first test flight in 1998. Its aging electronic systems, engine system, and propellent had to be replace and design of the warhead to be re-design. The KRL, assistance from the NESCOM, DESTO, and NDC, engaged in heavy reengineering and reverse engineered much of the missile system.
The liquid fuel systems are incapable of storing fuel for any long period of time. The Ghauri– I requires refuelling for several hours before launch and this makes it vulnerable to a first strike. It is believed that this is why Pakistan has not pursued liquid fuel system other than the Ghauri–I and Ghauri-II. It also makes it less likely that the Ghaur-Iwould be armed with a nuclear warheads. Although it has been stated that it is capable of being loaded with “all types” of warheads.
Pakistan’s latest solid-fueled Shaheen–IA is believed to be an alternate missile system for the Ghauri–I. However, it has been stated that the Ghauri–I has advantages in lower cost than solid-fueled systems. This is advantageous when testing launch and control systems. It has been speculated that the Ghauri–I design may serve as a starting point for a Pakistan’s space launch vehicle.