K-5 missile will strengthen India's secondary strike capabilities; Can be launched from submarines
New Delhi, Dec 21: One of the lesser known missiles being developed under DRDO's 'K Series' project is K-5 missile. K-5 would be a long range Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM). It reportedly can deliver nuclear warhead of up to one tonne 5,000 km away.
Other missiles under 'K Series' - 750-km range K-15 (B-05) and 3,500 km range K-4 - have already been test fired successfully several times. K-4 is an intermediate-range submarine-launched ballistic developed by DRDO. It is a 10 m long missile weighing 20 tonnes, capable of carrying a 1 tonne payload up to a range of 3,500 km.
The Sagarika/K-15 missile is the SLBM version of the land-based Shaurya missile.With a shorter range than K-4 missiles it is to be integrated with Arihant class submarine concurrently developed for the use of Indian Navy. Medium range K-15 ballistic missile has a range between 700 km to 1,500 km with varying payload.
INS Arihant is being equipped with the K-15 Sagarika (B05) nuclear-tipped missiles. It can be launched from under water. So far only four other countries - United States of America (USA), Russia, China and France - have such a strategic capability.
These missiles, especially the long range K-5 would significantly strenghthen India's secondary strike capabilities.
What is secondary strike capability?
In nuclear strategy, a second-strike capability is about retaliation after first strike by the enemy. It is country's assured ability to respond to a nuclear attack with powerful nuclear retaliation against the attacker. To have such an ability (and to convince an opponent of its viability) is considered vital in nuclear deterrence, as otherwise the other side might attempt to try to win a nuclear war in one massive first strike against its opponent's own nuclear forces.
The K-5 missile will undergo a series of developmental trials before its induction in armed forces. It will equip S4 nuclear powered submarine, currently under development. Indigenously developed INS Arihant submarine, which completed sea patrol recently, will be equipped with K-15 and K-4 missiles. Before the K-5 trial, the DRDO is also planning for first test of surface-to-surface tactical Short Range Ballistic Missile (SRBM) Pralay from a defence base off Odisha coast in December, said an Indian Express report.