On Sunday, India test-fired a K-4 intermediate-range Nuclear-powered Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) from a submerged platform off the coast of Andhra Pradesh in the Bay of Bengal.
BREAKING: After delays, India today tested the K-4 submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) from off the east coast. Will arm India’s Arihant-class submarines et al. (File photo) pic.twitter.com/0DFeIXSvLZ
— Livefist (@livefist) January 19, 2020
Though the DRDO and the MoD have not yet officially confirmed the test, media reports mention that the test was a success. The strategic missile will equip India’s nuclear-powered submarines. The solid-fueled K4 SLBM was test-fired for a range of 2200 km, as per reports.
As per a report by Times Of India, a Notice To Airmen (NOTAM) was issued by India earlier this month over a 3400 km flight corridor over the Bay Of Bengal for January 19 to 21. Earlier a similar notification was issued in November but no test was carried out.
The K-4 are indigenously developed capable of delivering nuclear warheads over 3500 km away. The test is expected to boost the early induction of the K-4 into India’s nuclear-powered submarines and will pave the way for the development of the longer-range variant of the K-4, the K-5, with a range of 5000 km.
India’s nuclear-powered submarine INS Arihant is currently armed with K-15 missiles with a target range of 750 km. Arihant was made fully operational in 2018, completing India’s nuclear triad capability, the ability to launch nuclear warheads from land, air and water.
Though India has long been capable of launching nuclear warheads from land and air, the SSBM Arihant gives India’s nuclear firepower much more credibility because SSBMs are considered the most secure and reliable platforms.
INS Arihant is a 6000-ton submarine propelled by an 83 MW pressurised light-water reactor at its core. India had also launched another nuclear-powered submarine named INS Arighat which is yet to be made fully operational.
The INS Arihant, designed after Russia’s Akula class Nuclear-powered submarines can carry 4 K-4 (intermediate-range) SLBMs or 12 K-5 (short-range) SLBMs.