There are a few countries like US, Russia, China, and France which have fully operational submarine-launched strategic missile systems which can target with nuclear warheads at a range of 650 kilometers and now India has joined the league.
Nirmala Sitharaman, the defence minister of India has made the formal announcement of the achievement. In New Delhi on Monday, she felicitated two scientists Joseph and M Ugender Reddy for the development of the missiles at the annual award ceremony of the Defence Research Development Organisation.
In January 2013, B05 missiles have been tested from a submarine by the scientists. The test which was conducted from an underwater pontoon off Visakhapatnam’s coastline proved successful. Now, the land version of the missile is currently in progress after the submarine version of the B05 was launched at INS Arihant.
The INS Arihant which is having a range of 650 kilometers is India’s lone nuclear submarine equipped with a B-O5 Submarine Launched Strategic Missile (SLBM). Moreover, the Indian scientists have been working on to develop a longer range SLBMs which will be able to provide the country with a much-needed capability to take down long-range targets from deep water.
— Raksha Mantri (@DefenceMinIndia) May 14, 2018
The award’s citation reads as “It is an indigenous missile with several innovative designs and a unique mechanism. Numerous critical technologies were proved in the successful trials, which paved the way for developing other long-range strategic missiles and has the potential to be launched from submarine, ship, and land.”
On the other hand, the longer-range K-series submarine-launched strategic missiles have been tested by Indian defense scientists for the past few years. The last test of the long-range (3,500 kilometers) K-4 missiles failed in December 2017 because the missile did not activate properly during the test. It happened after three successful tests of the missiles.
The work on K-5 having a range of 5,000 kilometers and the K-6 having the range of up to 6,000 km is under process for nuclear-powered submarines.