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‘India test-fires new version of nuclear capable Shaurya missile’

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    13th Oct, 2020

India successfully test-fired indigenously developed hypersonic nuclear-capable Shaurya missile, an advanced version of Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) K-15 (B-05).

Context

India successfully test-fired indigenously developed hypersonic nuclear-capable Shaurya missile, an advanced version of Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) K-15 (B-05).

About

  • ‘Shaurya’, which is the land variant of India’s K-15 missile, has a strike range of 700 km to 1000 km and is capable of carrying payloads of 200 kg t 1000 kg.
  • The missile can be stored in a composite canister.
  • The missile is less vulnerable to anti-ballistic missile defence systems due to its high manoeuvrability.
  • The surface-to-surface tactical missile is 10 metres long, 74 cm in diameter and weighs 6.2 tonnes.
  • Its two stages use solid propellants.
  • Launching platform: The missile can be launched from silos and canisters mounted on a truck and fixed on the ground, they said adding that it can be easily moved around. A truck itself can become a launching platform.

The K Family of missiles

  • The K family of missiles are primarily Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs), which have been indigenously developed by DRDO and are named after Dr Kalam.
  • The development of these naval platform launched missiles began in the late 1990s as a step towards completing India’s nuclear triad — the capability of launching nuclear weapons from land, sea and air based assets.
  • Because these missiles are to be launched from submarines, they are lighter, smaller and stealthier than their land-based counterparts, the Agni series of missiles which are medium and intercontinental range nuclear capable ballistic missiles.
  • While K family are primarily submarine-fired missiles to be fired from India’s Arihant class nuclear powered platforms, the land and air variants of some of its members have also been developed by the DRDO.

India towards self-reliance

  • Recently, India also successfully testfired the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile which can hit targets at over 400 km strike range which is at least more than 100 kms from the previous capability of the missile. 
  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has been working towards completing total self-reliance in the field of strategic missiles and has enhanced its efforts further under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat call by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this year.

Significance

  • The new version of the missile will be inducted in the strategic forces to complement one of the existing missiles in the same class. The missile would be lighter and easier to operate in comparison with the existing missile.
  • The successful flight-test of Shaurya missile extended range version of surface-to-surface supersonic cruise missile BrahMos is seen by defence experts as major steps in enhancing the country’s indigenous contents.
  • The development of these capabilities is important in light of India’s relations with the two neighbours China and Pakistan.
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