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