Govt okays induction of nuke-capable Shaurya missile amid Ladakh standoff

Updated 06 Oct, 2020 | 16:56 IST

The Narendra Modi government has quietly approved the induction and deployment of 700-km range surface-to-surface supersonic Shaurya strategic missile whilst forward movement has been recorded in the development of 5,000 km range K-5 submarine-launched missile. Shaurya is that the land version of the submarine-launched BA-05 missile and has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). The land version was discreetly tested for the ultimate time before induction as a part of user trials in Odisha’s Balasore on October 3.

According to top missile experts, Shaurya may be a delivery system stored during a composite canister for rapid deployment and minimum interaction with the weather for an extended period. The strategic missile flies at a supersonic speed of Mach 7, or 2.4 km per second, at a height of fifty km (within the atmosphere) and hits the designated target at Mach 4.

The missile is going to be soon deployed at locations identified by the Indian Strategic Forces Command under guidance from National Security Council. The missile features a warhead weighing around 160 kg.

While the Modi government’s decision to travel for a land version is critical because the missile is often launched by one vehicle, the DRDO is additionally making rapid strides within the development of a 5,000 km version of the submarine-launched missile (SLBM). With a variety like Agni-5 land-based missile, the K-5 is going to be deployed on the Arihant class of nuclear submarines.

While missile scientists are tight-lipped about the K-5 SLBM, the weapon is predicted to be tested within the next 15 months then deployed on the 6,000-tonne Arihant class of SSBNs. The second Arihant-class nautilus, INS Arihant, is to be operationalized within the subsequent six months.

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The consecutive testing of the hypersonic missile (September 7), Shaurya missile (October 3), and supersonic missile assisted release of the torpedo (October 5) by DRDO from Balasore are clear signals from the govt to the country’s adversary that India won’t cow right down to any coercion. The 800 km-range subsonic Nirbhay aircraft are going to be tested within the next few weeks and can be inducted into the Indian Army and Navy. The tactical missile has already been deployed in limited numbers in response to the Chinese build-up in Tibet and Xinjiang.

Coming at a time when India is engaged with a belligerent Chinese Army in the Ladakh sector, a senior government official said the testing and deployment of short-range delivery platforms clearly conveys the Modi Government’s intention of not backing right down to any aggression or cartographical expansion plan of any adversary within the neighborhood.

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