According to government sources, India successfully test-fired the K-4 ballistic missile off the coast of Andhra Pradesh on Sunday. Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), it has a strike range of 3,500 km. The missile will be deployed on the fleet of the indigenous INS Arihant-class nuclear-powered submarines of the Indian Navy. India is one of the 6 countries including the US, Russia, France, UK and China that has the capability to fire nuclear-tipped missiles from the land, air and undersea.
Govt sources:India today successfully test-fired 3,500 km strike range nuclear capable submarine-launched K-4 ballistic missile off coast of Andhra Pradesh. The missile under development by DRDO will be equipped on indigenous INS Arihant-class nuclear-powered submarines of Navy. pic.twitter.com/qOcblC269Z— ANI (@ANI) January 19, 2020
As per sources, the missile test-firing was carried out from an underwater platform in the sea early on Sunday morning. More tests are expected to be conducted before the missile is ready for the nuclear submarines. Incidentally, the DRDO is also developing another underwater missile BO-5. The BO-5 missile has a strike range of over 700 km. The success of the K-4 missile can also lead to other positive outcomes. For instance, it can also boost the development of the K-5 ballistic missile, which will have a strike range of 5,000 km.
As per the reports, the test window was January 19-21. Accordingly, the airmen had been informed for regulating the movements of the flights. Additionally, not only were the seafarers alerted but the coastal patrolling was intensified also. Reportedly, the missile was ready for the test in November 2019. However, the severe cyclonic conditions in the Bay of Bengal delayed the inevitable. An important feature of the K-4 missile is that any anti-ballistic missile defence system will find it difficult to track or destroy it.