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Strategic Plans Division (SPD)

  • Location
    Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Type
    Missile-Regulatory
  • Facility Status
    Active

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About

The command-and-control reforms of 1999 to 2001 established the Strategic Plans Division (SPD) as the secretariat of the National Command Authority (NCA). [3] In this role, the SPD administers NCA policies over all of Pakistan’s nuclear and missile programs. Agencies administered by the SPD include the National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM), the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), Khan Research Laboratories (KRL), and the National Development Complex (NDC). [4]

The SPD exercises significant administrative authority over the research, development, production, and manufacturing of Pakistan’s ballistic and cruise missile arsenal. The International Institute for Strategic Studies also notes that the composition of the SPD, which is headed by an army three-star general, suggests a dominant army position in the SPD hierarchy. [5]

Sources:
[1] "Nuclear Black Markets: Pakistan," A.Q. Khan and the Rise of Proliferation Networks – A Net Assessment, (London: The International Institute for Strategic Studies, 2007), p. 111.
[2] "Nuclear Black Markets: Pakistan," A.Q. Khan and the Rise of Proliferation Networks – A Net Assessment, (London: The International Institute for Strategic Studies, 2007), p. 112.
[3] Umer Farooq, “Pakistan Tests New Missile and Revises Command Structure,” Jane’s Defence Weekly, 16 February 2000.
[4] "Nuclear Black Markets: Pakistan," A.Q. Khan and the Rise of Proliferation Networks – A Net Assessment, (London: The International Institute for Strategic Studies, 2007), p. 111.
[5] "Nuclear Black Markets: Pakistan," A.Q. Khan and the Rise of Proliferation Networks – A Net Assessment, (London: The International Institute for Strategic Studies, 2007), p. 111.

Glossary

Ballistic missile
A delivery vehicle powered by a liquid or solid fueled rocket that primarily travels in a ballistic (free-fall) trajectory.  The flight of a ballistic missile includes three phases: 1) boost phase, where the rocket generates thrust to launch the missile into flight; 2) midcourse phase, where the missile coasts in an arc under the influence of gravity; and 3) terminal phase, in which the missile descends towards its target.  Ballistic missiles can be characterized by three key parameters - range, payload, and Circular Error Probable (CEP), or targeting precision.  Ballistic missiles are primarily intended for use against ground targets.
Cruise missile
An unmanned self-propelled guided vehicle that sustains flight through aerodynamic lift for most of its flight path. There are subsonic and supersonic cruise missiles currently deployed in conventional and nuclear arsenals, while conventional hypersonic cruise missiles are currently in development. These can be launched from the air, submarines, or the ground. Although they carry smaller payloads, travel at slower speeds, and cover lesser ranges than ballistic missiles, cruise missiles can be programmed to travel along customized flight paths and to evade missile defense systems.

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