Moving a step closer to completing its nuclear triad, India today successfully test-fired a ballistic missile, with a strike range of around 750 Kilometres, from an underwater platform in Bay of Bengal.
"The short range K-15 ballistic missile was test-fired successfully today from an underwater pontoon and all parameters of the test firing were met," DRDO chief VK Saraswat told PTI from the undisclosed test area.
Saraswat said that the development phase of the K-15 missile, which is a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), was over and it was now ready for deployment on various platforms including the indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant which is under development.
K 15 Test Fired at undisclosed location ( Image Courtesy - Shiv Aroor @ livefist.blogspot.com )
K-15 is part of the family of underwater missiles being developed by Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) for the Indian strategic forces' underwater platforms.
This is the first missile in the underwater category to have been developed by India. So far, India had the capability of delivering nuclear weapons from land and aerial platforms only. India has a no-first-use policy for nuclear weapons and the development of an SLBM boosts its retaliatory strike capability, experts said.
India is also developing two more underwater missiles including K-5 and Brahmos with strike ranges of 1500 kilometres and 290 kilometres respectively. K-5 ballistic missile is being developed by DRDO's Hyderabad-based Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL).
Officials said more than 10 trials of the missile have been performed earlier. Today's was the last development trial of K-15. Only a select few nations including the US, France, Russia and China have this type of missile capability. UK uses "American Missile Trident" for its SSBNs.
News Courtesy - timesofindia.indiatimes.com with correction from Shiv Aroor