PC : Shri Rajnath Singh

The latest media reports suggest that after a successful test of the Shaurya missile on 03 October 2020, the Government of India has approved the induction of 700 kilometers range Shaurya missile in Indian Armed Forces. Simultaneously, sources have reported that major strides have been made in the development of top-secret K-5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) with a range of 5,000 kilometers that is destined to be the principle delivery means for sea-based Indian nuclear weapons. In this, Guarding India Exclusive we will be covering the latest update on Shaurya ballistic missile and K-5 SLBM.

Teams Guarding India has already covered the recent test and capabilities of the Shaurya missile in this Guarding India Exclusive. The early approval for the induction of the Shaurya ballistic missile in operational service comes as surprise for many. However, we must keep in mind that to date all Sharuya missile tests have been flawless and DRDO has reported that the Shaurya test on 03 October 2020 was the last developmental flight of this formidable missile which validated all operational parameters of the system.

Shaurya Missile Successfully Tested
Shaurya Missile | PC : DD National

In the future, multiple Shaurya missiles will be test-fired by Indian Armed Forces as part of user trials and readiness drills. The lightning-fast approval of the Shaurya missile may be attributed to the ongoing India China border standoff as the Shaurya missile is designed to provide a long-range rapid strike option to Indian Armed Forces. This missile can cover its 700 kilometers range in less than 500 seconds while flying at a hypersonic speed of Mach 7 or 2.4 kilometers per second.

The initial batch of Shaurya missiles will be delivered to India’s Strategic Forces Command which is the nuclear force of India that works under the direct control of the National Security Council headed by the Indian Prime Minister. However, subsequently, Shaurya missile will be inducted into Indian Artillery which already operates Prithvi and BrahMos missiles held by the Indian Army.

However, the biggest disclosure is reports of considerable progress in the development of K-5 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). K-5 SLBM is India’s top-secret missile program as this missile will have a range of more than 5,000 kilometers and will be deployed on Arihant class nuclear submarines (SSBN). Reportedly, K-5 SLBM will be tested within the next 15 months which will increase the lethality of Indian nuclear submarines manifold. Presently, Arihant class nuclear submarines carry K-15 or B-05 Sagarika missiles which have a limited range of 750 kilometers as K-4 SLBM with 3,500-kilometer range is yet to be operationally inducted into the Indian Navy.

K-5 SLBM Sagarika
K-4 SLMB being successfully test fired | PC : Indian Navy

The induction of K-5 SLBM will ensure that Indian Navy’s Arihant class nuclear submarines will be able to target Chinese capital from protected sanctuaries in the Bay of Bengal while previously Indian nuclear submarines were expected to head to the South China Sea for launching their nuclear missile which is never a favorable situation as the South China Sea is heavily monitored by Chinese Navy. Therefore, by inducting K-5 SLBM India can achieve minimum credible nuclear deterrence against China as the Indian Nuclear Submarines prowling in the depths of Bay of Bengal will ensure that any nuclear strike on India will be equally destructive for China.

Finally, Team Guarding India hopes that very soon both Shaurya and K-5 SLBM will enter into operational service with the Indian Armed Force as these formidable weapons are necessary for preventing Chinese belligerence on LAC and ensuring peace on Indian borders.