Sonmiani Flight Test Range (FTR)

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Last Updated: September 27, 2011
Other Name: N/A
Location: 50km W Karachi [1]
Subordinate To: Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) [2]
Size: 200-hectacres
Facility Status: Active

The Flight Test Range (FTR) at Sonmiani Beach is SUPARCO's primary rocket launch facility. The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) and the National Defence Complex (NDC) also use the Somniami FTR for test-flights of solid-fueled ballistic missiles. Expanded and modernized in the 1990s, its facilities include rocket launchers; a rocket assembly workshop; a payload assembly area; high-speed tracking radars; a control room; a telemetry station; flight communications equipment; optical cameras; and a maintenance workshop.

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and SUPARCO collaboratively use the FTR as the launch site for sounding rockets. [3] Somniami, however, has also hosted test flights of the Hatf-3/Ghaznavi (M-11) and Hatf-4/Shaheen-1, and the Hatf-6/Shaheen-2 solid-fueled ballistic missiles. [4] In total, Somniami has hosted four known test flights of the Hatf-2/Abdali, five test flights of the Hatf-3/Ghaznavi, seven test flights of the Hatf-4/Shaheen-1, and five test flights of the Hatf-6/Shaheen-2. [5]

Sources:
[1] Dinshaw Mistry, Containing Missile Proliferation: Strategic Technology, Security Regimes, and International Cooperation in Arms Control (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003), p. 118.
[2] Dinshaw Mistry, Containing Missile Proliferation: Strategic Technology, Security Regimes, and International Cooperation in Arms Control (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003), p. 118.
[3] “Sonmiani,” Encyclopedia Astronautica, 31 January 2011, www.astronautix.com.
[4] “Missile Flight Tests,” The International Institute for Strategic Studies, 31 January 2011, www.iiss.org.
[5] “Missile Flight Tests,” The International Institute for Strategic Studies, 31 January 2011, www.iiss.org.

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