New Delhi: India today made a major stride towards completing its nuclear triad capability by successfully test firing a nuclear-capable ballistic missile, with a strike range of around 1500 kilometres, from an underwater platform in Bay of Bengal.
Completion of the nuclear triad will give India the ability to fire nuclear-tipped missiles from land, air and sea. This is the first missile in the underwater category to have been fully developed by India and can be launched from a submarine.
"The medium range K-5 ballistic missile was test fired successfully today from an underwater pontoon and all parameters of the test firing were met," Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief V K Saraswat told PTI from an undisclosed test area.
Officials said more than 10 trials of the missile had been carried out earlier. Today's was the last development trial of K-5.
Only a select few nations including the US, France, Russia and China have this type of missile capability, they said.
The development phase of the K-5 missile, which comes in the category of submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), was over and it was now ready for deployment on various platforms including the around 6,000-tonne indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant which is under development, Saraswat said.
K-5 is part of the family of underwater missiles being developed by DRDO for the Indian strategic forces' underwater platforms. The missile, which is also known as BO5, has been developed by DRDO's Hyderabad-based Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL).
This missile will help India to achieve the capability of launching nuclear warheads from underwater facilities. So far, India had the capability of delivering nuclear weapons from land and aerial platforms only.