The Indian missile development programme has seen two failures in a span of one week. These failures also include a matter of concern during an unsuccessful test where a submarine-launched nuclear-capable missile showed some issues and stuck in its testing canister.
As per the sources, on 22 December, a test of the Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM) failed at Chandipur-on-Sea in Odisha. Apparently, the reason being an actuator not responding to a software command led it to hit turbulence within 1.5 seconds as soon as the missile took off, sources told ThePrint.
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is working on to develop QRSAM which is going to help Indian Air Force into securing its important assets. The missile went through its third test, supposedly countering fast moving air targets like fighter jets etc. super quick, this will enhance Akash, short range surface-to-air missile.
The concern does not stop here as the K-4 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) has also been a failure. India is looking forward for it as it is being developed for the nuclear triad and is capable of taking down targets under water.
On 17 December, the test result into a miss when the missile launch was unsuccessful from an underwater pontoon as per reports. INS Arihant and INS Arighat nuclear submarines are subjected to be fused with this missile as the backup strike availability, believed to have over 3,500 km of range.
The programme is continuously creating concerns over safety following the draining of its battery after commanded for the launch. The K-4 missile did not activate during the test and the DRDO scientists are believed to have retrieved the missile from the test pontoon post failure.
INS Arihant being the only nuclear missile-carrying submarine of India has 750 km range B-05 SLBM but there are still questions about the effectiveness of the nuclear triad considering limited range of the missile and functionality of Arihant.
India was supposed to get second strike option over potential target positions with this 3,500 kmm range K-4 missile which was to be launched from INS Arihant soon. Though three times tested before, its last week’s failure was matter of concern and is being worked over to find reasons and the safety issues related to its launch.
DRDO is also working on the K-5, 5,000 km range SLBM and K-6 project having a range up to 6,000 for developing an underwater launched missile.