New Delhi: India is now capable of firing a nuclear capable ballistic missile from under the sea.
Top defence scientists told CNN-IBN in Delhi on Monday that the missile, K-15, will be test-fired for the sixth and final time from an underwater platform this week.
The 700-km range K-15 will put India in the club of five nations (US, Russia, France and China) which have the technology to fire missiles from the sea. If the K-15 is successful, India will get the capability to launch nuclear weapons from land, sea and air.
The missile would be armed on the country’s submarines. CNN-IBN’s Defence Correspondent reports that it is very difficult to target a weapon that is on a submarine, underwater and moving. Submarine-launched weapons are considered the best option for attacking the enemy because they provide stealth
A senior defence official told reporters on Monday preparation for the test-launch is over. "We have completed all preparations for the first ever test launch of the missile and awaiting Government’s nod," said S Prahlada, Chief Controller of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at the Defence Expo exhibition in Delhi.
PTI, while quoting Prahlada, said the missile would be fired in the seas off the interim test range site at Balasore in Orissa.
He said the DRDO would need just one test to ratify the missile systems and the parameters which would form the main armament of the country's indigenous nuclear submarine expected to enter sea trials late next year.
Prahlada said DRDO had almost perfected the dry-run trials on the key missile and it would be integrated with the advanced technology vehicle, as officials called the indigenous nuclear submarine there after.
The DRDO official said the preparations have also been made to conduct the second test of 3000-km range Agni-III missile. "We are just awaiting the weather condition to improve to go ahead with the test," he said.
Prahlada said Agni-III would be ready for induction in the strategic command forces after two more tests. In the course of his chat, the DRDO official said almost all the major missile system in the country had now been fully inducted.
"DRDO is now getting inquiries for various ranges of Indian missiles from different nations," he said adding it was up to the government to clear the sales keeping in view the international parameters.
He said proposals had been cleared by the government for a joint venture with Israel to produce long-range surface-to- air missile for the Navy.
The Government has cleared the deal worth Rs 2,500 crore and the advanced missile would be ready for induction in three years time. He said parts of the missile systems would be made in India and the rest in Israel.