Pakistan might buy a supersonic missile successfully test-fired by China which is said to be cost-effective and better than the BrahMos developed by India and Russia, the Chinese state media has reported.
The HD-1 is not like other supersonic missiles as it needs less fuel and flies faster and farther, said a report in the Global Times, after China announced it has struck its biggest drone deal with its all-weather ally Pakistan.
According to the deal, Beijing, which is Islamabad's biggest arms supplier, will sell it 48 drones.
Commenting on the successful flight of the missile, a Chinese military expert said the HD-1 will face little competition in the international arms market.
The missile has been developed by South China-based Guangdong Hongda Blasting Company.
The test at a discreet location in North China verified the launch, power and flight control systems, the company was quoted as saying by the Times.
All parameters for the supersonic cruising flight of the HD-1 missile achieved their estimated values, the statement said.
The HD-1's advanced solid fuel ramjet needs less fuel than its competitors, rendering the lighter missile able to fly faster and farther, said Beijing-based military analyst Wei Dongxu.
"Pakistan and Middle Eastern countries are likely to show interest given the weapon's potential to break anti-missile systems at supersonic speeds, he said.
The BrahMos missile is a more expensive, less useful supersonic cruise missile developed by India and Russia, according to Wei.
The HD-1 is a comprehensive weapon system consisting of missile, launch, command, control, target indication and comprehensive support systems, the company that developed it had said in a separate statement released in August.
The HD-1 can be adapted to aircraft and ships as well as the basic ground-based vehicle version, the company said.