Hatf AKA Ghauri: A Blast from the Past

Hatf-I (Urdu: حتف) is a short-range, road mobile, solid propellant ballistic missile. There are three versions: the I, IA, and IB. IA and IB are upgrades to the original Hatf-I, improving the range and the accuracy of the original missile system. Since 2001, all current Hatf-I missiles have been upgraded to the Hatf-IB standard.
Hatf is an Arabic word and it means "Deadly" or "Vengeance". It was the name of the sword of Prophet Muhammad. Pakistan has designated all its missiles as Hatf for this reason.


Hatf-I, the original, was designed as a highly mobile, tactical system. The missiles are said to have been derived from the second-stage of the French Eridan missile system.[1] As it has little or no guidance, it can be considered as an artillery rocket. It is ground mobile and can be launched from a transporter erector launcher (TEL) vehicles. Due to its solid propellant it is easy to store, transport, and fire. It is usually kept in a ready-to-fire state. Its major use is as an unguided general bombardment weapon, to be fired across a battlefield or at a general target area. If properly aimed, it can hit within several hundred meters of the target area. The missile is low cost and easy to produce and maintain in large numbers. The Hatf-I missile development program dates back to the 1980s. The Hatf-I was officially revealed by Pakistani officials in 1989 and it is believed to have entered service in 1992. In January 1989 a successful launch of an "indigenous multistage rocket into deep space" was said to have reached an altitude of more than 480 km.

Hatf-I has a range of approximately 70 km (43 miles) and can carry a 500 kg conventional or non-conventional warhead. As it is unguided, it should be considered a long-range artillery shell, with the location of the impact depending upon the proper direction, angle of launch and the ability of the missile to fly straight. The Hatf-I is deployed with high explosive or cluster munitions, although it can theoretically carry a tactical nuclear weapon. The missile has a diameter of 0.56 m and is 6 m in length. It uses a single-stage solid propellant engine.


Hatf-IA is an upgrade to the Hatf-I with a 30 km (18 miles) increase in range and an improved accuracy. The maximum range is thus 100 Km. This has been achieved by using an improved engine and lighter materials in the missile's construction. The dimensions and the payload capacity remain the same. Hatf-IA is believed to have entered service in 1995.


Hatf-IB represents the final evolution of the Hatf-I missile system. This upgrade includes an inertial guidance system, thus considerably improving the accuracy of the missile. The Hatf-IB is identical to Hatf-IA otherwise, retaining the range and payload of the Hatf-IA. The inertial guidance system allows the missile to be used as an artillery rocket capable of taking a 500 Kg HE explosive or cluster munitions over a range of 100 Km, with high degree of accuracy. Thus, it is ideal for use against enemy military encampments or storage depots etc. The missile system is designed to be used like an artillery system, with 5-6 missiles fired simultaneously at the target area. Being a ballistic missile the Hatf-IB would reach its target much quicker than an ordinary artillery shell giving the target little warning to take evasive action.
Hatf-IB was first flight tested in February 2000. All current Hatf-I missiles have been upgraded to Hatf-IB standard as of 2001. The system is operational with Pakistan's armed forces.


Type Battle-field Range Ballistic Missile (BRBM)
Service history
In service Hatf-I: 1989, Hatf-IA: 1995, Hatf-IB: 2001
Production history
Manufacturer SUPARCO, Kahuta Research Laboratories (KRL)
Produced 1989
Weight 1500 kg
Length 6 m
Diameter 0.56 m

Warhead 500 Kg Single/Sub-munitions, Conventional/Nuclear

Engine single stage solid propellant
Propellant Solid
Hatf-I: 70 km, Hatf-IA/IB: 100 km
Hatf-I/IA: unguided, Hatf-IB: Inertial guidance system
transporter erector launcher (TEL)

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