Sonmiani Flight Test Range

Coordinates: 25°12′N 66°45′E / 25.200°N 66.750°E / 25.200; 66.750
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sonmiani Flight Test Range
Agency overview
Jurisdiction Pakistan Air Force
HeadquartersSonmiani, Balochistan, Pakistan 25°12′N 66°45′E / 25.200°N 66.750°E / 25.200; 66.750
Parent agencySpace and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO)
WebsiteNTI Sonmani FTR
Sonmani Flight Test Range though its accuracy is questionable.

The Flight Test Range (FTR) at Sonmiani Beach is a primary rocket launch site in Balochistan, approximately 50 kilometres (31 mi) west of Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan.[1]

The facility is operated by the Space Research Commission since 1961, initially focusing on supporting civilian space program involving the launch of sounding rockets but its present mission has now been moved towards national security programs managed by the Pakistan Air Force.: 118 [2][3]


Initially established at Sonmiani Rocket Range[4] in 1961, the Sonmiani Flight Test Range is the only rocket launch facility operated by the Space & Upper Atmosphere Research Commission.: 135 [5][6] It was the crucial contribution from the American National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) that established the facility in 1961 with Suparco launching the Rehbar-I program that consisted of a Nike-Cajun combination on June 7, 1962.[4]: 118 [2][1]

In 1989, the Sonmiani FTR mission was moved from supporting the civilian space program towards supporting the national security program when Hatf-I (lit. Target) was launched from the facility.[1] Since 1990, the Sonmiani FTR has been expanded and modernized that now includes the several rocket launch sites, a rocket assembly and a maintenance workshop; a payload assembly area; high-speed tracking radars with a control room and telemetry station; flight communications equipment and optical cameras.[7] It is currently spread across 200 hectares (490 acres) and located approximately 50 kilometres (31 mi) west of Karachi.[3]

The Sonmani FTR, not a space center, now serves as a primary launch site for Pakistani military's missile testing program, namely launching the Hatf program (Target), including four tests of Hatf-II, two of Hatf-III, seven of Hatf-IV and five of Hatf-VI– a missile testing program managed by the Pakistan Air Force's Strategic Command.[8][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Sonmiani".
  2. ^ a b Dinshaw, Mistry, Containing Missile Proliferation: Strategic Technology, Security Regimes, and International Cooperation in Arms Control (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003), p. 118
  3. ^ a b "Sonmiani Flight Test Range". Retrieved 19 March 2023.
  4. ^ a b "Histroy [sic]". Archived from the original on 23 October 2021. Retrieved 19 March 2023.
  5. ^ Nair, Kiran Krishan (2006). Space: The Frontiers of Modern Defence. KnowledgeWorld . ISBN 978-81-87966-44-9. Retrieved 19 March 2023.
  6. ^ "Sonmiani - Pakistan Special Weapons Delivery Systems".
  7. ^ “Missile Flight Tests,” The International Institute for Strategic Studies, 31 January 2011,
  8. ^ “Missile Flight Tests,” The International Institute for Strategic Studies, 31 January 2011,
  9. ^ "PKAFSC". Retrieved 20 March 2023.

External links[edit]