For the first time India is going to launch an underwater ballistic missile from the nuclear powered submarine, INS Arihant.
The recently delivered Indian made ballistic nuclear submarine, is going to test the medium range K-15/B-05 Sagarika submarine-launched ballistic missile.
The Indian made missile has a range of 700km with a 1,000kg payload and 1,900km with a 180kg payload. The missile was developed at the Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) missile complex, and was delivered for testing to the Indian Navy in 2001.
The first underwater launch of the missile took place in 2008 from a submerged pontoon, 50 meters beneath the surface, and the latest launch on 28 January 2013 from an underwater launch platform.
The medium range K-15/B-05 Sagarika submarine-launched ballistic missile is ten meters long, 0,74 meters in diameter and weighs 6-7 tonnes.
INS Arihant can carry 12 medium range K-15/B-05 Sagarika missiles inside four vertical launch tubes, located behind the superstructure of the submarine.
The same tubes will be equipped in the future with four K-4 Mark I/Mark II submarine-launched ballistic missiles that are currently under development by the Defence Research and Development Organisation.
The K-4 Mark I is a ten meter long, 20 tonne, submarine-launched ballistic missile with a 3,500km range, while the K-4 Mark II is a 12 meter long, 17 tonne, submarine-launched ballistic missile with a 5,000km range. A third missile, the K-5, is also under development by the Defence Research and Development Organisation. This missile will be able to hit targets at a distance of 6,000km with a one tonne weight warhead.
For the future, the DRDO has proposed a new submarine-launched missile, the “AGNI-VI”, which is based on the intercontinental ballistic missile “AGNI-V” that is currently being tested. It has a range of 10,000km and is equipped with a smaller warhead than the “AGNI-V”.