NEW DELHI: India will test-fire the 3,500 kilometre range K-4 Shaurya submarine-launched ballistic missile on Friday (November 8, 2019) as part of the development and strengthening process of its nuclear strike capability. The K-4 Shaurya missile, which will be nuclear-tipped and arm Indian Navy's submarines, will be test-fired from an underwater platform off the Vishakhapatnam coast in Andhra Pradesh.
The intermediate-range nuclear missile will add the much needed lethal punch to India's second-strike capability and will arm the indigenously developed Arihant Class nuclear-powered submarines. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is developing the K-4 Shaurya missile system for the Arihant Class submarines which will form the third and most crucial leg of India's nuclear triad.
According to senior DRDO sources, the test-firing is being carried out to validate several advanced systems in the K-4 Shaurya missile. Once all the systems of K-4 Shaurya are tested, the missile will then be test-fired from an active submarine of the Indian Navy before operationalising it.
India issued a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) and marine warnings for the missile test. DRDO is also in the process of finalising the test-firing of Agni-III and BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles in the coming weeks.
The K-4 Shaurya is 12 metres long and uses gas-booster to leave the underwater platform and out of the water before its engines are ignited to take the missile towards its target. The diameter of the missile is 1.3m and weight is almost 17 tonnes. Capable of carrying a 2 tonnes warhead, the missile used solid rocket propellant. According to the DRDO, the K-4 Shaurya flies at hypersonic speeds and can penetrate enemy anti-ballistic missile defence systems by performing three-dimensional manoeuvers.
Apart from the K-4, DRDO is also developing the 700-km range BO-5 missile which will also be submarine-launched. With K-4 Shaurya in its arsenal, Indian Navy submarines will be able to target the enemy while being stationed far away from the coast and deep under the sea.