Success on debut for undersea launch of missile

The missile can carry nuclear warheads over 3,000 km

May 08, 2014 01:46 am | Updated 01:46 am IST - CHENNAI:

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight-tested an underwater-launched missile called K-4 with a range of about 3,000 km on March 24.

The launch took place from a pontoon submerged more than 30 metres deep in the sea off the Visakhapatnam coast. After a powerful gas generator ejected it from the pontoon submerged in the Bay of Bengal, the K-4 missile rose into the air, took a turn towards the designated target, sped across 3,000 km in the sky and dropped into the Indian Ocean. What has made the DRDO missile technologists happy is that the mission was successful in K-4’s maiden flight. The two-stage missile will carry nuclear warheads, forming the lethal payload of India’s nuclear-powered submarines, which are under construction.

“It was an excellent flight on March 24. The K-4 missile travelled a little more than 3,000 km,” informed sources said. “We will do many more missions to prove the missile’s sub-systems and increase their reliability.”

India is the fifth country in the world to have a missile launched underwater.

The sources described K-4 as “the proud successor” of the K-15 underwater-launched missile, codenamed B-05. Nearly 10 development trials of K-15 missile have already been completed from pontoons submerged in the Bay of Bengal over the past few years.

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