Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Security Studies



Publication Title

Deterrence Instability and Nuclear Weapons in South Asia


In April 2011 Pakistan conducted a test of a new nuclear-capable short-range missile, the Hatf-IX (also referred to as the Nasr). Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations Directorate described the Nasr as a “quick response system” designed to support “full spectrum deterrence” by countering India’s growing conventional force advantages. The Nasr is reported to have a range of 60 km as well as a terminal guidance system for improved accuracy. The development of short-range nuclear-capable systems such as the Nasr might entail parallel efforts to build small nuclear warheads that could be employed by a variety of new and existing platforms, possibly including cruise missiles and artillery, against advancing Indian conventional forces. Some argue that notwithstanding the small diameter of the Nasr — roughly 1 foot — Pakistan might be pursuing boosted fission, subkiloton-yield devices suitable for use on the battlefield. To have high confidence in such yields, Pakistan might have to resume nuclear testing.


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