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India Test Fired K-4 SLBM In The Bay Of Bengal

India has reportedly conducted a successful test-firing of an indigenously developed, nuclear capable  the K-4 submarine-launched ballistic missile, at its full range from a submerged platform in the Bay of Bengal off the Visakhapatnam coast.

This is the first time that India test fired a ballistic missile from the Bay of Bengal region.

Citing unnamed source of India’s Defense Research & Development Organization (DRDO),  the Indian Express reported on 22 March that the K4 missile was launched from a replica of a submarine submerged at a depth of  9m ( around 30 feet) in the water where some of the critical parameters concerning the missile were reported to have been met during the exercise. According to the report,the  K-4 missile will have to undergo at least two more developmental trials before it will be test-fired from the indigenously built ballistic missile nuclear submarine (SSBN) INS Arihant. INS Arihant.

An anonymous DRDO source  told the Indian media that  the K-4 missile was fired at a depressed trajectory.Starting from successfully clearing the launch tube and breaking the water surface to stage separation and maintaining the ballistic trajectory, the missile achieved all parameters before zeroing in on the pre-designated target with high accuracy.

The K-4 is an intermediate-range nuclear-capable submarine-launched ballistic missile powered by solid rocket propellants.  Developed by India's Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), the 10m-long two-stage K-4  missile has a launch weight of 20t and can hit a target at a distance of 3,500km (2,174 miles) and  the missile is equipped with a capacity to carry a nuclear or conventional payload of more than 2,000kg.During a previous test in March 2014, the K-4 was only tested to a range of 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles).

DRDO scientists claim that the K-4 missile  features a ringer laser gyro inertial navigation system and can cruise at hypersonic speed with a weaving system in three dimensions while it approaches a target.

The missile is highly accurate with a near zero circular error probability with a hypersonic cruising speed .

In the meantime it is reported in the world media that there might be some delay in making the  indigenously built  SSBN INS Arihant fully operational. This submarine is based on Russian Project 971 Akula I-class nuclear-powered attack submarine.  It is the lead vessel of the Indian Navy’s future fleet of four Arihant-class SSBNs.

US Expresses Concern Over India's Ballistic Missile Launch

In the meantime USA has expressed its concern over the ballistic missile test of India in the Bay Of Bengal. According to the reports of PTI and NDTV, expressing concern over India's recent ballistic missile launch, the US has said such actions could potentially "increase" the risk to nuclear security and have an impact on regional security. US State Department had already shared their concerns with New Delhi.

US State Department Spokesman, Mark Toner, told reporters that, USA is concerned by any nuclear and missile developments that could potentially increase the risk to nuclear security risk or lower the threshold for nuclear use. He also urged all states with nuclear weapons to exercise restraint regarding their missile and nuclear capabilities.

 [Compiled By: Fakhrul Islam; Source: NDTV, PTI, The Diplomat, The Indian Express, Naval Technology]