India test fires nuclear-capable underwater missile

India on Tuesday test-fired a nuclear-capable submarine-launched ballistic missile from an undersea location off its eastern coast, news reports said quoting defence officials.

India test fires nuclear-capable underwater missile
The test firing was done from an underwater launcher positioned 50 metres under the surface of the sea off the coast of eastern Orissa state, IANS news agency quoted defence officials as saying.

The Indian navy does not yet have a submarine capable of firing a ballistic missile.

The 8.5-metre-long missile, earlier named Sagarika, which means born in the sea, but now referred to as K-15, weighs about seven tons and can carries a 500-kilogram payload. It is designed to carry both conventional or nuclear warheads.

The test firing of the underwater missile completes India's capability to fire nuclear weapons from land, air and the sea.

Powered by solid propellants, the K-15 has a booster that will propel it into the air from underwater and another booster to ignite it in the air and carry it over a distance of more than 700 kilometres, The Hindu newspaper reported.

The test places India with Russia, the United States, France, Britain and China, which are the only countries to have missiles that can be launched from submarines.

India is currently in the process of developing a nuclear-powered submarine which is due for sea trials in 2009 and it is expected the K-15 would be integrated with this vessel, the Hindu said.

The missile was developed by India's Defence Research and Development Organization.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Şubat 2008, 15:07