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The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is strategically investing in the development of long-range air-launched weapons systems to counter the growing deployment of advanced air defense systems by India. In particular, the Harbah NG anti-ship cruising missile (ASCM) and the Taimur air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) are emerging as key components of Pakistan’s defense strategy to maintain a robust deterrent against evolving regional threats.

India’s substantial investment in long-range air defense systems has expanded its capability to monitor the entire airspace of Pakistan, including aircraft take-offs and landings. This poses a significant challenge for Pakistan, given the limited depth of its airspace. To address this, the PAF is strategically focusing on the development and deployment of advanced and long-range air-launched weapons.

The Taimur ALCM, with a reported range of 1,200 km, is a key asset in Pakistan’s arsenal. Weighing less than 1,200 kg, it provides the PAF with a stand-off capability, enabling precision strikes against distant targets. Developed by Global Industrial and Defence Solutions (GIDS), the Taimur is expected to play a crucial role in bolstering Pakistan’s strategic capabilities.

The Harbah-NG, another significant development, is designed for deployment from surface warships and land-based vehicles. Leveraging a Digital Scene-Mapping Area Correlator (DSMAC) system, the Harbah-NG incorporates a terminal-stage seeker with options for an imaging infrared (IIR) or an active-radar homing (ARH) system. This advanced missile system enhances Pakistan’s naval capabilities, providing a potent tool for anti-ship operations.

Considering the parallel development and potential synergies between the Taimur and Harbah-NG, it is plausible that these systems share critical components such as propulsion, guidance systems, and possibly terminal-stage seekers. This commonality streamlines logistical and operational aspects, making the integration of these weapons into the PAF’s arsenal more efficient.

The strategic focus on long-range air-launched weapons aligns with Pakistan’s commitment to maintaining a credible deterrence against evolving regional security challenges. These capabilities enhance the PAF’s flexibility and responsiveness, enabling it to address a spectrum of potential threats effectively.

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