Khan Research Laboratories (KRL)

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A backgrounder

Nuclear Threat Initiative

OTHER NAME: Kahuta Research Laboratories; Engineering Research Laboratories

LOCATION: Rawalpindi

SUBORDINATE TO: Directorate of Scientific and Technical Cooperation

SIZE: Ghauri Development Area of ~32 buildings, Dynamic Test Facility of 1 isolated building, sparsely developed engine test area


While more frequently associated with Pakistan’s nuclear program, Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) also figures prominently in Pakistan’s medium-range liquid-fueled ballistic missile development history.A historical competitor to Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission’s solid-fueled ballistic missile initiatives, the 1999-2001 command-and-control reforms consolidated the bulk of missile development activities under the National Defence Complex (NDC). KRL, however, continues to contribute to the development of the Ghauri missiles.

KRL’s missile development efforts focused on liquid-fueled medium-range missiles built with North Korean assistance. On 6 April 1998, KRL held a test flight of the liquid-fueled medium-range Ghauri-1/Hatf-5 missile. Senior U.S. intelligence officials identified the missile as a Nodong missile from North Korea. The same sources also confirmed the launch site as either KRL or an alternate site near Jhelum.

Following the April 1998 Ghauri-1 test-flight, the Clinton Administration imposed sanctions on KRL under the Export Administration Act of 1979 and the Arms Export Control Act. This failed to hamper KRL, as none of the parts or expertise for the Ghauri project came from the Unites States. Development continued, and KRL tested Ghauri-2/Hatf-5A with an improved range of 2,000km, and repeatedly indicated that the Ghauri-3, with a range of 3,000km, was also ready for testing. In January 2003, the Ghauri-1 missile entered service in the Pakistan Army. On 23 March 2003, the Bush Administration issued sanctions against KRL and North Korea, ostensibly for missile collaboration.

See also

Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission

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