New Delhi: In a major development, India on Friday successfully test-fired the K-4 submarine-launched ballistic missile. Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the K-4 has a strike range of 3,500 km and was test-fired off the coast of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
The missile was test-fired from an underwater platform.
Notably, this is the second time in just six days the missile was test-fired. Earlier, the missile was successfully test-fired on January 19.
A nuclear-capable missile, the K-4 will eventually arm the Arihant class submarines. The development testing of the K-4 started in January 2010 and the first test-firing was eventually carried out in March 2014 after unspecified issues led to the original testing be postponed from September 2013. During the test, which was successful, the missile was tested to a range of 3,000 km.
The K-4 is reportedly 12 metres long with a 1.3-metre diameter and a weight of nearly 17 tonnes. Among other things, the missile can cruise at hypersonic speeds and is manoeuvrable. Additionally, in order to defeat ballistic missile defence systems, the K-4 can perform three-dimensional manoeuvres.
According to experts, the eventual induction of the missile will give India the standoff capability to launch nuclear weapons submerged in Indian waters. The missile is expected to be put to test a few more times before it is ready for being equipped on the nuclear submarines. At the moment, only the first nuclear boat INS Arihant is operational for the Navy.