In case of an escalation in tensions between Pakistan and India in the Arabian Sea, Pakistan could use one of its four Exocet missiles to annihilate INS Vikramaditya, India’s only aircraft carrier.
Developed in France in the 1960s, the Exocet missile is a short-range anti-ship cruise missile capable of being fired from air, land, and sea. Not only is it difficult to detect an Exocet missile but it is nearly impossible to intercept and defend against it.
Once fired, the Exocet missile travels closer to the surface of the water to avoid detection on enemy radar. Its payload capacity is a single warhead of 165 kg HE fragmentation or semi-armor piercing and can hit a target up to 40 to 70 km.
These are the 4 Exocet missiles that make Pakistan Navy a formidable force.
Although the production of the original Exocet missile was discontinued in 2002, Pakistan still has MM38 missiles in its arsenal to thwart any possible advancements. It has a range of 40 km and could only be launched from ship.
Operational to this day, the Pakistan navy launched SM39 in the Arabian Sea for the first time in 2001. SM39 is the only submarine-launched missile of the Exocet family. It can easily be fired up to 50 km from Pakistan’s Agosta-class submarines.
SM39 is launched from torpedo tubes in a watertight container and ejects into the air after coming in contact with the surface, making it ideal weaponry for submarines with insufficient height to fire missiles vertically.
AM39 can be fired up to 70 km. It is an air-launched missile which gives an anti-ship capability to any aircraft and helicopter at sea. Additional navigational improvements and evasive maneuvering capabilities of AM39 decrease the effectiveness of the enemy’s anti-missile systems.
MM40 has a minimum range of 70 km as well. It is a ship-launched missile that can skim just 6 feet above the water surface, enabling it to avoid opposition’s radar. Pakistan Navy has successfully increased the effective range of MM40 by increasing its length and propellant capacity.