India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) carried out test of a 3,500-km range K-4 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) from a fixed underwater pontoon on Sunday afternoon.
“The test was conducted from a submerged pontoon and has met the desired parameters. A pontoon simulates the situation of a launch from a submarine. The missile ejecting from a submerged platform to the surface [sea] is the toughest part,” an official source was quoted as saying by the Indian media on Sunday.
In November 2019, India formally declared its nuclear triad stated in its nuclear doctrine operational after INS Arihant began prowling the deep seas carrying ballistic missiles equipped with nuclear warheads. It is among the six countries worldwide to to have the capability to fire a nuclear missile from land, air and undersea. The others are US, Russia, China, France and UK.
DRDO sources say that the research agency is already working on a much longer range missile, the K-5, which can hit targets 5,000 km away, reports The Print.
The K-4 is meant for the indigenous Arihant-class submarines, that are already armed with K-15 Sagarika missiles having a range of 750km. The K-4 nuclear missile is about 12m long with a diameter of 1.3m. It weighs around 17 tonnes and is capable of delivering a 2 tonne warhead up to a distance of over 3,500 km. The missile is powered by solid rocket propellant.