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Pakistan says it test-fired first submarine-launched cruise missile

Pakistan Navy's Agosta 90-B submarine sails on the last day of a four-day defence exhibition IDEAS2006 in Karachi November 24, 2006.

Pakistan Navy's Agosta 90-B submarine sails on the last day of a four-day defence exhibition IDEAS2006 in Karachi November 24, 2006.  (REUTERS/Athar Hussain)

Pakistan's military says it has successfully test-fired a submarine-launched cruise missile for the first time, giving it a "credible second strike capability."

A statement Monday said the missile was fired from the Indian Ocean and hit its target. It said the Babur Cruise-3 missile has a range of 280 miles and can fly low to evade radar and air defenses.

It added that the missile "is capable of delivering various types of payloads and will provide Pakistan with a Credible Second Strike Capability, augmenting deterrence." It appeared to be referring to a strategy in which the ability to strike back after a nuclear attack deters adversaries from launching one.

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Pakistan became a nuclear power in 1998, developing the capability to match that of neighbor and archrival India.