India Test Fires Nuke Capable SLBM K-4 Secretly
By Hemant Kumar Rout | ENS
Published: 09th March 2016 12:57 AM
Underwater launched K-4 missile being test fired. EPS
BALASORE (ODISHA): India has reportedly conducted a test of its home grown intermediate range Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) K-4 secretly from an undersea platform in the Bay of Bengal in a bid to boost its deterrence capability by strengthening the second strike fire power.
Even as the authorities of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) are tightlipped about the secret test, a reliable defence source on Tuesday confirmed ‘The Express’ that this nuclear capable missile was fired from a submerged pontoon positioned nearly 30 feet deep sea offshore Vizag coast on Monday.
Launched underwater, the missile developed indigenously by the DRDO, surged to the surface leaving behind a ribbon of thick smokes. Although the result of the test was not known, the source claimed it’s take off was smooth as a powerful gas generator successfully ejected it from the pontoon.
The first test of the missile was also conducted secretly on March 24, 2014 and the DRDO admitted it officially only in January last year in the Aero-India show. The K-4 missile is best in the world in its class and it is faster and stealthier. Once operational, the two-stage missile will equip the country's first nuclear-powered submarine ANS Arihant.
Working very covertly under the secret K-project for last nearly two decades, prime focus of the DRDO was to make the weapon system lighter and faster having both cruise and ballistic variants. A very few countries have the triad of firing nuclear tipped missiles from air, land and undersea. Other countries, which have the capability, include Russia, USA, France, Britain (UK) and China.
A defence scientist said the K-4 missile will supplement its cousin 750-km range K-15 missile (renamed as B-05). Nuclear powered INS Arihant submarine which is likely to be commissioned in the Navy shortly will be equipped with four K-4 missiles or 12 K-15 missiles. The missile has to go for three/four more trials before being inducted in the navy.
As reported by 'The Express' earlier this manoeuvrable missile having an innovative system of interlacing in three dimensions can also cruise at a hypersonic speed. This exceptional feature of the weapon system makes it difficult to be tracked easily and destroyed by any anti-ballistic missile defence systems. The missile has a high accuracy of close to zero circular error probability (CEP).
The underwater launched ballistic missile is about 12 metres long with a diameter of 1.3 metres. It weighs around 17 tonnes and is capable of delivering two tonne warhead up to a distance of over 3,500 km. The missile is powered by solid rocket propellant. High power long range tracking systems were spread along its trajectory to track the flight path.K-4 Missile Test A Roaring Success
By Hemant Kumar Rout
Published: 16th March 2016 04:36 AM
BALASORE: Even as the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has not yet made public its recent test of nuclear capable submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) K-4, the elite agency, known for developing some best weapons with minimum failures, has validated a few new technologies pushing the country one step ahead in indigenous technology.
A source on Tuesday told ‘The Express’ that the mission conducted secretly on March 7 from a submerged pontoon (replica of a submarine) in the Bay of Bengal off the Visakhapatnam coast was a ‘roaring’ success. Some critical parameters set by the mission team were successfully met during the test.
The K-4 missile was fired at a depressed trajectory. Starting from successfully clearing the launch tube and breaking the water surface to stage separation and maintaining the ballistic trajectory, the missile achieved all parameters before zeroing in on the pre-designated target with high accuracy. The trial was stupendous and a copy book success,” the source claimed.
As far as submarine launched weapon system is concerned, the success of K-4 missile, in terms of technology, is a significant achievement for the country which has surprised the enemy nations by developing some powerful yet potent missiles with limited budget and period.
Although the missile is yet to get its actual name, it was being developed under a secret project, code named K-4. The name is learnt to have been derived from Missile Man of India and former President APJ Abdul Kalam.
The 10-metre tall two-stage missile having a launch weight of 20 tonne can strike a target 3,500 km away. It is capable of carrying more than 2,000 kgs of warhead, both conventional and nuclear. According to sources, apart from several other new technologies, a top-end rocket technology involved in the weapon system is an innovation and initial boost velocity is a plus in this system.
However, the silence of DRDO over the test has left many defence experts surprised.
An eminent national security expert and professor at New Delhi-based Centre for Policy Research (CPR) Bharat Karnad said the logic behind such rationing of publicity escapes him.
“Sure, a failed launch is best kept under wraps. But the success of what is a decisive nuclear warhead delivery system from submerged platform is something that needs to be crowed about a bit, just so everybody knows,” he said in an e-mail reply.
Sources said while the K-4 missile has to undergo two/three more developmental trials before being inducted in the armed forces, its shorter version 750-km range K-15 (renamed as B-05) is ready for induction. Meanwhile, the DRDO is also learnt to have been developing K-5 missile which will have a strike range of more than 5,000 km capable of hitting targets deep inside China.
BAY OF BENGAL.
1. HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS 0730Z TO 1130Z DAILY
07 THRU 09 MAR IN AREA BOUND BY
17-11.74N 083-29.07E, 19-57.95N 089-14.57E,
21-12.90N 088-26.23E, 17-27.81N 083-18.19E.
2. CANCEL THIS MSG 091230Z MAR 16.//
Authority: NAVAREA VIII 159/16 021002Z MAR 16.
Date: 021329Z MAR 16
Cancel: 09123000 Mar 16
A0495/16 (Issued for VECF VOMF PART 1 OF 3) -
LAUNCHING OF EXPERIMENTAL FLT VEHICLE WILL TAKE PLACE. DANGER
POINT A-171144.54N 0832904.09E
POINT B-195757.33N 0891433.95E
POINT C-211254.11N 0882613.70E
POINT D-172748.59N 0831811.22E
POINT A-171144.54N 0832904.09E
NO OVER FLYING ACTIVITY IS PERMISSIBLE WITHIN THE ABOVE MENTIONED
AREAS. DURING THE HOURS OF LAUNCH, THE FOLLOWING ATS ROUTES/SEGMENTS
ARE REROUTED/NOT AVBL IN KOLKATA FIR:-
1. Q10 NOT AVBL BTN SUGAN AND CEA VOR.
2. Q11 NOT AVBL BTN CEA VOR AND KASRO.
3. A465 NOT AVBL BTN DOKET AND KAKID. ALTN
ROUTE:DOCKET-DCT-VIPAT-DCT-MABDU-W41-KAKID. BIDIRECTIONAL. ONLY
FL310, FL350 AND FL390 AVBL FOR EASTBOUND FLTS. FOR WESTBOUND FLTS
ONLY FL280, FL360 AND FL380 AVBL.
4. P646: ONLY FL300 AVBL FOR WESTBOUND FLTS.
5. V9 NOT AVBL BTN VIPAT AND VVZ VOR.
6. W29 NOT AVBL BTN KM NDB AND VVZ VOR.
7. W41: FOR EAST BOUND FLTS ONLY FL290 AVBL. FOR WESTBOUND FLTS
ONLY FL280, FL360 AND FL380 AVBL.
8. W47N/S NOT AVBL BTN BITEM AND VVZ VOR. ALTN
ROUTE:BITEM-DCT-MABDU-W41-KAKID.BIDIRECTIONAL. ONLY FL310, FL350 AND
FL390 AVBL FOR EASTBOUND FLTS. ALL LEVELS EXCEPT FL300 AND FL320
AVBL FOR WESTBOUND FLTS.
END PART 1 OF 3. BTN 0730-1130 DLY, 07 MAR 07:30 2016 UNTIL 09 MAR 11:30 2016.
CREATED: 05 MAR 09:16 2016
A0495/16 (Issued for VECF VOMF PART 2 OF 3) -
9. W66 NOT AVBL BTN BILUN AND VVZ VOR.
10. W90 NOT AVBL BTN BBS VOR AND VVZ VOR.
11. W111 NOT AVBL BTN VATLA AND DOPID.
12. W112 NOT AVBL BTN DOPID AND PPB VOR. ALTN ROUTE: CEA
VOR-W112-DOPID-DCT-1950N 08950E-DCT-1840N 09006E-DCT-PPB VOR.
BIDIRECTIONAL. ONLY FL240 AND FL280 AVBL FOR WESTBOUND FLTS ON
13. N877 NOT AVBL BTN ORARA AND RIBRO. ALTN
ROUTE:ORARA-DCT-XOPOX-DCT-MEPOK- DCT-NNP VOR. BIDIRECTIONAL. ONLY
FL300 AND FL340 AVBL FOR WESTBOUND FLTS. FOR EASTBOUND FLTS ONLY
FL330 AND FL370 AVBL.
14. L510 NOT AVBL BTN ELBAB AND BIDEX.
15. P628 NOT AVBL BTN PPB VOR AND ASOPO.
16. L301 NOT AVBL BTN URKOK AND MEPOK. ALTN
ROUTE:URKOK-DCT-XOPOX-DCT-MEPOK. BIDIRECTIONAL. ONLY FL260 AND FL320
AVBL FOR WESTBOUND FLTS.FOR EASTBOUND FLTS ONLY FL330 AND FL370
17. L759 NOT AVBL BTN LIBDI AND IBUDA. ALTN ROUTE: LIBDI- 1950N
08950E-DCT-DOPID-W111-CEA VOR-A791-IBUDA. BIDIRECTIONAL. ONLY FL340
AVBL FOR WESTBOUND FLTS. L759 WEST OF BBS VOR AVBL FOR FLTS TO/FM
END PART 2 OF 3. BTN 0730-1130 DLY, 07 MAR 07:30 2016 UNTIL 09 MAR 11:30 2016.
CREATED: 05 MAR 09:16 2016
A0495/16 (Issued for VECF VOMF PART 3 OF 3) -
18. M770/M773 NOT AVBL BTN MEPEL AND CEA VOR. ALTN
ROUTE:MEPEL-DCT-DOPID-W111-CEA VOR. BIDIRECTIONAL. ONLY FL360 AVBL
FOR WESTBOUND FLTS.
19. N895 NOT AVBL BTN SAGOD AND BBS VOR. ALTN
ROUTE:SAGOD-DCT-DOPID-DCT-CEA VOR-G450-NNP VOR. BIDIRECTIONAL. ONLY
FL320 AVBL FOR WESTBOUND FLTS. N895 WEST OF BBS VOR AVBL FOR FLTS
20. G472 NOT AVBL BTN SAGOD AND BBS VOR. ALTN ROUTE:
SAGOD-DCT-DOPID-DCT-CEA VOR-G450-NNP VOR. BIDIRECTIONAL. ALL LEVELS
UPTO FL260 EXCEPT FL240 AVBL FOR WESTBOUND FLTS. G472 WEST OF BBS
VOR AVBL FOR FLTS TO/FM VEBS.
RMK: 1. VOR BASED ROUTES V9, W29, W47N/S AND W66 UPTO VOVZ AVBL
SUBJECT TO THE CONDITION THAT EITHER VVZ VOR SHOULD BE FUNCTIONING
OR SURVEILLANCE SERVICES SHOULD BE PROVIDED BY VOVZ ATC.
2. ACFT FM VOMM TO VOVZ IS PERMITTED TO FILE FLT PLAN VIA A465
DOCKET-DCT-BITEM-W47N-VVZ VOR. GND - UNL) END PART 3 OF 3, BTN 0730-1130 DLY,
07 MAR 07:30 2016 UNTIL 09 MAR 11:30 2016. CREATED: 05 MAR 09:16 2016