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Pakistan Aircraft
Potential Special Weapons Delivery Systems

The current status of delivery systems for Pakistani nuclear weapons is unclear. It is reported that Pakistan has developed and tested a nuclear weapon based on a Chinese design that was intended for delivery by an intermediate range missile. It is unclear whether Pakistan currently has the capability of delivering a nuclear weapon using missile systems. Since Pakistan probably had nuclear weapons prior to the availability of missile delivery systems, it is probable that the current Pakistani nuclear weapons inventory includes weapons designed for delivery using aircraft. In the event that Pakistan sought to deliver nuclear weapons using aircraft, one or more of the following aircraft types might be used for this purpose. There are open-source reports suggesting that several of the A-5 Fantan have been equiped to deliver air-dropped atomic weapons. Other reports have suggested that F-16 aircraft have practiced the "toss-bombing" technique that would be used to deliver nuclear weapons.

For the time being it appears that the credibility of Pakistan's nuclear deterrent depends not on its limited-range missiles, but on the survivability of its strike aircraft.

Aircraft Combat
Payload Speed Inventory
A-5 600 km 1,000 kg Mach 1.12 60
Mirage III/5 500 km 3,500 kg Mach 2.2 180
F-16 850 km 2,000 kg Mach 2 32

Sources and Resources

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Maintained by Robert Sherman

Updated Sunday, January 10, 1999 7:07:51 PM