Jet sales to Pakistan haunt Canberra




 
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November 9th, 2007  
rock45
 

Topic: Jet sales to Pakistan haunt Canberra


Jet sales to Pakistan haunt Canberra


Daniel Flitton
November 7, 2007
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Jet fighters supplied by Australia to Pakistan could be used to launch nuclear-armed missiles, thanks to a controversial military hardware deal almost two decades ago.
As alarm spreads about Pakistan's slide into civil chaos, new evidence has emerged that ex-RAAF Mirages have been involved in tests by Pakistan of cruise missiles, which could carry a nuclear payload.
The former Hawke Labor government sold 50 Mirages and spare parts to Pakistan in 1990, provoking anger from rival India, which said at the time that the deal could destabilise the region. Pakistan has since developed a cruise missile that can be launched from fighter aircraft, and which it claims carries "all types of warheads".
Pakistan's military announced the successful missile test in August this year, with television footage showing a Mirage jet taking off and firing the missile and the weapon in mid-flight.
Media in Pakistan later identified the jet as the Mirage III EA fighter, a type believed to be part of the previous RAAF squadron.
Sam Roggeveen, a former intelligence analyst specialising in weapons technology, has published details of the missile test in an internet blog for the Lowy Institute for International Policy, The Interpreter. "There's a good chance that an aircraft sold by Australia is being used by Pakistan to improve and enlarge its nuclear arsenal," he said.



Link to story
http://www.theage.com.au/news/nation...329225075.html
 


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