New Delhi, Feb 26:
India has successfully test-fired a nuclear-capable submarine-launched ballistic missile from an undersea location off its eastern coast, news reports said quoting defence officials.
The test firing was done from an underwater launcher positioned 50-metres under the surface of the sea off the coast of eastern Orissa state, IANS news agency quoted defence officials as saying.
The 8.5-metre-long missile, earlier named Sagarika, which means born in the sea, but now referred to as k-15, weighs about seven tons and carries a 500-kg payload. It is designed to carry both conventional or nuclear warheads.
The test firing of the underwater missile completes India's capability to fire nuclear weapons from land, air and the sea.
India joins the likes of Russia, the United States, France, Britian and China, the only countries which have missiles that can be launched from submarines.
India is currently in the process of developing a nuclear-powered submarine which is due for sea trials in 2009 and it is expected the K-15 would be integrated with this vessel, the Hindu said. The Chief Controller of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), S Prahlada, had said that only one test will ratify the missile system.
India successfully test fire under sea ballistic missile