Ras Koh Test Site

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Last Updated: March 1, 2011
Other Name: Chagai-1
Location: Ras Koh Mountain Range, Chagai District, Baluchistan Province
Subordinate To: Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC)
Size: Unknown
Facility Status: No further tests conducted

After Pakistan's December 1971 defeat against India, President Z.A. Bhutto instructed scientists from the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) to begin building a nuclear weapon. [1] Following India's nuclear test on 18 May 1974, Pakistan accelerated its program. In the spring of 1976, the PAEC group surveyed the Chagai Hills region, and finding it suitable for a test, selected a site at the Ras Koh mountain range. [2]

In response to India's 11 May and 13 May 1998 nuclear weapon tests, Pakistan quickly finished preparations for its first test. [3] On 28 May 1998, Pakistan claims to have detonated five nuclear weapons at the Ras Koh Site. [4] While Pakistan claimed the tests produced up to a 35 kiloton yield, [5] the number of explosions and yields was hotly debated in the intelligence community. [6] No further tests have been conducted.

Sources:
[1] George Perkovich, "Could Anything Be Done to Stop Them? Lessons from Pakistan's Proliferating Past," in Henry D. Sokolski (ed.), Pakistan's Nuclear Future: Worries Beyond War (Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, 1998).
[2] Jeffrey T. Richelson, Spying on the Bomb (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2007), pp. 327-328.
[3] Steven Komarow, "Photos show Pakistan test site almost ready," USA Today, 27 May 1998.
[4] John F. Burns, "Nuclear Anxiety: The Overview; Pakistan, Answering India, Carries Out Nuclear Tests; Clinton's Appeal Rejected," The New York Times, 29 May 1998.
[5] John Kifner, "Nuclear Anxiety: The Overview; Pakistan Sets Off Atom Test Again, But Urges 'Peace,'" The New York Times, 31 May 1998.
[6] Jeffrey T. Richelson, Spying on the Bomb (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2007), pp. 436-441.

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