New Delhi: India has declared itself capable of launching a nuclear missile from a submarine and has announced that a submarine-based cruise missile Sagarika has been developed and tested successfully.
With the induction of Sagarika, India has completed the triad of India's nuclear weapons delivery systems.
This was made known at a Defence Research and Development Organisation function in New Delhi on Saturday where the team responsible for the development of the Sagarika was felicitated.
Sources say the Sagarika has a range of 1,000 km and has been accepted for induction by the Navy.
The missile is likely to be installed on the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV). ATV is the indigenous nuclear-powered submarine that is expected to be launched next year.
Sagarika has already been tested successfully three times and completes the third leg of the strategic triad giving India the capability to launch missiles from land, air and now from under the sea.
Submarine-based nuclear missile are considered the most reliable for the fact that a submarine travels mostly under the sea and is hence extremely difficult to detect.
India has a no first use doctrine and so it means that the deterrence capability has to be very effective as well as reliable and Sagarika would give the military its most reliable second strike capability.
Though it was know for while that Sagarika was under development but the entire process was a closely guarded secret and so it was a big surprise when Prime Minster Manmohan Singh felicitated the defence scientists involved in the development of the cruise missile in New Delhi on Saturday.
However, the capability will become operational in a couple of years because ATV will be launched next year and then only the missile will be integrated with the nuclear submarine.