DRDO plans another K-15 missile launch


The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) plans another test-firing of the K-15 missile from a pontoon off the coast of Visakhapatnam.

Developed under the Sagarika project, the K-15 has been test-fired several times from submerged pontoons off Visakhapatnam.

The pontoon, simulating the conditions of a submarine, will be positioned about 10 to 20 metres below the sea surface. A gas-charged booster will erupt into life, driving the two-stage missile to the surface. The missile's first stage will then ignite and it will climb 20 km in the air before cutting a parabolic path and travelling over a range of 700 km.

The missile, which is under production, can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads. It will form part of the lethal arsenal of the country's first nuclear-powered submarine, Arihant, which is undergoing sea trials. India is building two more such submarines.

The DRDO is developing a K-4 underwater-launched missile, which will have a range of 3,000 km. Developmental tests of the missile's gas-booster have taken place from a pontoon.

Sources in the DRDO called it “a tricky mission” because the attacker would have a manoeuvrable trajectory and try to dodge the interceptor from homing in on it. Of the five earlier missions, four were successful."

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