New Delhi, Feb 18 (UNI) India today joined the select group of nations which have developed under water ballistic missile system capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
The ballistic missile, K-15, having a range of 700 km was likely to be test fired soon, a top Defence Research and Development Organsation (DRDO) confirmed here today.
''We have completed all the preparations for the launch.
It will be test fired within a month...the moment we get a submarine,'' DRDO chief controller Dr S Prahlada told journalists on the sidelines of the fifth DefExpo here.
He said five ''different kinds of tests'' have already been conducted from a temporary pontoon platform, a replica of a submarine.
''The missile system is ready for the test any time now in the seas off the integrated test range (ITR) site at Chandipur-on-sea in Orissa's Balasore,'' Dr Prahlada added.
This was for the first time that any defence official has formally admitted to the existence of indigenously developed K-15 missile system.
The project, till now, was being developed behind a heavy ''official veil'' of secrecy.
The missile system was likely to be deployed on yet another secret project of the DRDO, code-named ATV (Advanced Technology Vessel), a nuclear powered submarine, sources said.
With the successful test, India would join the select group of nations such as the US, Russia, France and China to possess such a capability.
Dr Prahlada said preparations have also been made to conduct the second test of 3000-km range Agni-III missile.
The Government has also cleared proposals for a joint venture with Israel to produce long-range surface-to-air missile for the Indian Navy, he added.
UNI AG SK RK1924