Pakistan has successfully conducted a training launch of a Ghauri medium-range ballistic missile, aiming to determine the operational and technical readiness of Army Strategic Forces Command.

The Ghauri missile’s survivability on a battlefield is unlikely due to its need to move with a convoy of support vehicles, making it vulnerable to detection. The country has replaced the weapon with the more advanced Shaheen series of solid-fuel ballistic missiles. However, Mansoor Ahmed, an expert on Pakistan’s nuclear program, believes the Ghauri is still useful and is the most widely tested missile system in the Pakistani arsenal. The test could also be an affordable way to test new reentry vehicle technologies.

The Ghauri is the only liquid-fueled ballistic missile in Pakistan’s strategic forces, and its fuel is TM-185 (a mixture of gasoline and kerosene) and fuming nitric acid. While kerosene has been used for space rocket applications, fuming nitric acid generally is not. A more common combination would be kerosene and high-test peroxide, which may deliver a higher specific impulse or greater efficiency in delivering cargo to orbit.

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