The flight test of the Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM), Ra'ad, which is also known as Hatf VIII, was the seventh since it was first tested in 2007.

It is essentially a flying bomb, generally designed to carry a large conventional or nuclear warhead many hundreds of miles with high accuracy. Modern cruise missiles can travel at supersonic or high subsonic speed, a leading news agency reported.

The most common mission for cruise missiles is to attack relatively high value targets such as ships, command bunkers, bridges and dams. The modern guidance system permits precise attacks, the report said.

The Inter-Services Public Relations in a statement said that Ra'ad, with a range of 350km, "enables Pakistan to achieve air delivered strategic standoff capability on land and at sea." The missile is approximately five metres long and could weigh up to 1,000kg.

President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif congratulated the scientists and engineers behind the development for their outstanding achievement on the successful flight test of Ra'ad, the daily reported.

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