BALASORE: Even as the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has not yet made public its recent test of nuclear capable submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) K-4, the elite agency, known for developing some best weapons with minimum failures, has validated a few new technologies pushing the country one step ahead in indigenous technology.
A source on Tuesday told ‘The Express’ that the mission conducted secretly on March 7 from a submerged pontoon (replica of a submarine) in the Bay of Bengal off the Visakhapatnam coast was a ‘roaring’ success. Some critical parameters set by the mission team were successfully met during the test.
The K-4 missile was fired at a depressed trajectory. Starting from successfully clearing the launch tube and breaking the water surface to stage separation and maintaining the ballistic trajectory, the missile achieved all parameters before zeroing in on the pre-designated target with high accuracy. The trial was stupendous and a copy book success,” the source claimed.
As far as submarine launched weapon system is concerned, the success of K-4 missile, in terms of technology, is a significant achievement for the country which has surprised the enemy nations by developing some powerful yet potent missiles with limited budget and period.
Although the missile is yet to get its actual name, it was being developed under a secret project, code named K-4. The name is learnt to have been derived from Missile Man of India and former President APJ Abdul Kalam.
The 10-metre tall two-stage missile having a launch weight of 20 tonne can strike a target 3,500 km away. It is capable of carrying more than 2,000 kgs of warhead, both conventional and nuclear. According to sources, apart from several other new technologies, a top-end rocket technology involved in the weapon system is an innovation and initial boost velocity is a plus in this system.
However, the silence of DRDO over the test has left many defence experts surprised.
An eminent national security expert and professor at New Delhi-based Centre for Policy Research (CPR) Bharat Karnad said the logic behind such rationing of publicity escapes him.
“Sure, a failed launch is best kept under wraps. But the success of what is a decisive nuclear warhead delivery system from submerged platform is something that needs to be crowed about a bit, just so everybody knows,” he said in an e-mail reply.
Sources said while the K-4 missile has to undergo two/three more developmental trials before being inducted in the armed forces, its shorter version 750-km range K-15 (renamed as B-05) is ready for induction. Meanwhile, the DRDO is also learnt to have been developing K-5 missile which will have a strike range of more than 5,000 km capable of hitting targets deep inside China.