BHUBANESWAR : Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is set to throw up some pleasant surprises early next year. Along with the induction of 5,000-km range surface-to-surface ballistic missile Agni-V, the premier defence research agency is readying for the maiden test of its long range Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) K-5.
K-5 missile developed under the secret ‘K Series’ project is the fastest missile in its class and can deliver nuclear warhead of more than one tonne 5,000 km away. The three-stage missile propelled by solid propellants can deceive enemy radar making it more lethal. While 750-km range K-15 (B-05) and 3,500 km range K-4 of the K-family have already been test fired successfully several times and are in the process of induction, the newly developed K-5 will add more teeth to the arsenal.
Defence sources said the missile will be flight tested from a submersible pontoon launcher in Bay of Bengal off Visakhapatnam coast for a suppressed range to validate some new technology incorporated in the system before it is put under tests for full range in operational configuration.“The K-5 missile was sanctioned in 2015. The weapon system is now being readied for initial phase trials. Though the test window has not been finalised, it is expected to fly in the sky soon.
A successful trial would pave the way for the development of its longer range cousin K-6,” said a senior defence official.With India perceiving China as a potential threat, the focus now seems to have been laid on development and deployment of long range missiles having underwater launch capabilities.
The K-5 missile will undergo a series of developmental trials before its induction in armed forces. It will equip S4 nuclear powered submarine, currently under development. Indigenously developed INS Arihant submarine, which completed sea patrol recently, will be equipped with K-15 and K-4 missiles.
Before the K-5 trial, the DRDO is also planning for first test of surface-to-surface tactical Short Range Ballistic Missile (SRBM) Pralay from a defence base off Odisha coast on December 18.
Earlier planned in September, the test was reportedly deferred for administrative reasons.
The much faster and accurate Pralay has a strike range upto 500 km and weighs around five tonne. It can be compared with China’s Dongfeng 12 and Russia’s 9K720 Iskander, both short-range tactical ballistic missiles.“Preparation is also on for a user trial of 4,000 km range Agni-IV missile by the Strategic Forces Command. The missile will be fired in a lofted trajectory like the recent test of Agni-V. The trial is likely to be conducted on December 26,” the official added.
SLBM K-5 is the fastest missile in its class
Can deliver nuclear warhead of more than one tonne 5,000 km away
To be flight tested from a submersible pontoon launcher off Visakhapatnam coast
SRBM Pralay to be test-fired from a defence base off Odisha coast
Has a strike range upto 500 km
Weighs around five tonne