Babur (Urdu: بابر) (named after the first Mughal Emperor Zahir ud-Din Babur), also designated Hatf VII, is the first land attack cruise missile to be inducted by Pakistan.
Launched from ground-based transporter erector launchers, warships and submarines, the Babur can be armed with a conventional or nuclear warhead and has a reported range of 700 km (430 mi). The missile is designed to avoid radar detection and penetrate enemy air defences. Serial production of the Babur started in October 2005.
The Babur’s airframe is made up of a tubular fuselage, with a pair of folded wings attached to the middle section and the empennage at the rear along with the propulsion system. Propelled by a jet engine (either turbofan or turbojet), the Babur has a maximum speed of approximately 550 mph. On launch, a booster rocket provides additional thrust to accelerate the missile away from the launch vehicle. After the launch the wings unfold, the booster rocket is jettisoned and the jet engine started.
On August 12, 2005, Pakistan publicly announced that it had successfully test fired a nuclear-capable cruise missile with a range of 500 km. The missile was launched from a land based transporter erector launcher (TEL). The unannounced launch on 11 August 2005 caught much of the international community by surprise due to the technically advanced nature of the missile, as well as the fact that Pakistan did not notify India of its test-firing as the existing notification agreement is limited to ballistic missile testing only.
On March 22, 2007, Pakistan test-fired an upgraded version of the Babur with an extended range of 700 km. Pakistan carried out two more tests of Babur on July 26, 2007 and December 11, 2007.
On May 6, 2009, Pakistan conducted another test-firing but did not announce the event until 9 May 2009, citing political reasons.
On October 28, 2011. Pakistan successfully test fire its Babur Cruise missile and has a range of 700 kilometer. The ISPR said Babur was capable of carrying conventional and atomic warheads. A special feature of this launch was the validation of a new multi tube Missile Launch Vehicle (MLV) during the test. The three tube MLV enhances manifold the targeting and deployment options in the conventional and nuclear modes. With its shoot-and-scoot capability, the MLV provides a major force multiplier effect for target employment and survivability.
On June 6, 2012 Pakistan conducted a successful test-fire of the multi-tube, indigenously developed Cruise Missile Hatf-VII (Babur), which can carry both nuclear and conventional warheads with stealth capabilities. It was the third test-fire conducted by Pakistan in the recent past, of different capacity and load. “It can carry both nuclear and conventional warheads and has stealth capabilities,” said an official announcement of the ISPR. “It also incorporates the most modern cruise missile technology of Terrain Contour Matching (Tercom) and Digital Scene Matching and Area Co-relation (DSMAC), which enhances its precision and effectiveness manifolds.”