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Shaurya Missile

Shaurya Missile

Context:

A successful trial of the nuclear-capable Shaurya missile was conducted by India.

About Shaurya Missile:

  • It is a land-based parallel of the submarine-launched K-15 missile.
  • Shaurya is a land variant of short-range SLBM K-15 Sagarika, which has a range of at least 750 kilometers.
  • Shaurya, like many of the modern missiles, is a canister-based system, which means that it is stored and operated from specially designed compartments.
    • In the canister, the inside environment is controlled thus along with making its transport and storage easier, the shelf life of weapons also improves significantly.
  • These ballistic weapons belong to the K missile family — codenamed after late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam — which is launched from the Arihant class of nuclear submarines.

The K Family of missiles:

  • The K family of missiles are primarily Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBM) developed by DRDO and named after Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.
  • The development of these naval platforms launched missiles began as a step towards completing India’s nuclear triad — the capability of launching nuclear weapons from the land, sea, and air-based assets.
  • Because these missiles are to be launched from submarines, they are lighter, smaller, and stealthier than their land-based counterparts, the Agni series of missiles which are medium and intercontinental range nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.
  • While K family are primarily submarine-fired missiles to be fired from India’s Arihant class nuclear-powered platforms, the land and air variants of some of its members have also been developed by the DRDO.
  • India has also developed and successfully tested multiple times the K-4 missiles from the family which has a range of 3500 km.
  • It is reported that more members of the K-family — reportedly to have been codenamed K-5 and K-6 with ranges of 5000 and 6000 km are also under development. 

Importance of SLBMs:

  • The capability of being able to launch nuclear weapons submarine platforms has great strategic importance in the context of achieving a nuclear triad, especially in the light of the ‘no first use’ policy of India.
  • The sea-based underwater nuclear-capable assets significantly increase the second strike capability of a country and thus boosts its nuclear deterrence.
  • These submarines can not only survive the first strike by the adversary but also can launch a strike in retaliation thus achieving Credible Nuclear Deterrence.
  • The development of these capabilities is important in light of India’s relations with the two neighbors China and Pakistan.
  • With China having deployed many of its submarines, including some which are nuclear powered and nuclear-capable, this capacity building is crucial for India’s nuclear deterrence.

The recent tests:

  • Recently, DRDO conducted two successful tests of the K-4 missile from submerged platforms off the coast of Andhra Pradesh in a span of six days.
  • These tests were a key step towards ultimately deploying K-4 on INS Arihant, which already has K-15 onboard. In the Saturday’s test, Shaurya was examined for several advanced parameters compared to its earlier tests, according to sources.

Source: Indian Express