Nuclear-capable K-4 ballistic missile successfully test fired from INS Arihant

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India has successfully test fired its most secret  and most ambitious weapon system, a long range submarine-launched ballistic missile, codenamed K-4, from an undisclosed location in the Bay of Bengal. The test was conducted nearly 45 nautical miles away from Vishakhapatnam coast in Andhra Pradesh.

The Missile Test

♦ The secret test of K-4 ballistic missile was conducted by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) along with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) which provided all logistics. The missile was fired from onboard silos of the Ship Submersible Ballistic, Nuclear (SSBN) submarine.

♦ The missile was fired from 20-meter depth and covered more than 700 km before zeroing on the target with high accuracy reaching close to zero Circular Error Probability (CEP).

About K-4 (SLBM)

 K-4 a part of the K-family of missiles, is a nuclear capable intermediate-range submarine-launched ballistic missile under development by Defence Research and Development Organisation of India to arm the Arihant-class submarines.

⇒ The series of K- class missiles missiles have been named after former president and scientist A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

⇒ The development of the K-4 was undertaken after facing significant difficulties in compacting similarly capable Agni-III to equip INS Arihant which has a limited 17-metre (56 ft)-diameter hull.

 K-4 is a derivative of nuclear capable Agni series and it has range comparable to Agni-III the only difference is with major length reduction from 17 metres (56 ft) to 12 metres (39 ft).

 It under development by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to arm the Arihant-class submarines. It is a derivative of nuclear capable Agni series (medium to intercontinental range) missile which are already in service. 

 The missile is 12 metres long and has a diameter of 1.3 metres and and weighs nearly 17 tonnes. It can carry a warhead weighing up to 2 tonnes (2.2 tons) and is powered solid rocket propellant. Its engine is solid fuelled. It has an effective range of over 3500 km.

Previous test : The gas-booster designed for K-4 was successfully tested from a submerged pontoon in 2010. The first test was carried out in 2014 from a depth of 30 metres.

Comment : The missile, which has now taken a steady step forward to prove itself, will arm India's nuclear ballistic missile submarines, invisible and undetected until they need to be used. The missile test is being seen as a huge step forward for country's nuclear weapons programme and strategic deterrent.

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