China has sold Pakistan a powerful tracking system in an unprecedented deal that could speed up the Pakistani military’s development of multi-warhead missiles.
News of the sale – and evidence that China is supporting Pakistan’s rapidly developing missile programme – comes two months after India tested its most advanced nuclear-ready intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with a range long enough to hit Beijing or Shanghai.
The US Defence Intelligence Agency officially confirmed in March that Pakistan conducted the first test launch of its nuclear-capable Ababeel missile in January 2017, “demonstrating South Asia’s first MIRV payload”.
It has been a long-held notion that Beijing is supporting Islamabad’s missile development programme.
Other types of tracking devices, such as radar, can collect more precise data at longer distances, but the Chinese-made optical system provided the intuitive, close-up look at real-life action that missile developers craved, he said.