Saturday, January 22, 2011
K-15 test rescheduled to Jan 31
The DRDO has rescheduled the test-firing of submarine launched ballistic missile ( SLBM) K-15 to January 31. It was supposed to be test-fired from an underwater platform off the Vishakhapatnam coast on January 20. “The test was first scheduled on January 16, but was postponed to January 20. Now it has again been rescheduled to January 31 due to delay in arrangements. It is a coordinated exercise of both land and Navy personnel,” a source said.
“India can join the league of five nations, Russia, US, France, Britain and China, with the successful launch of the K-15 missile. These countries already possess advanced missiles that can be launched from a submarine,” sources said.
The indigenously developed K-15 or the B-05 missile are 10 metres in length, one metre in diameter and weighs ten tonnes with a strike range of around 700 km.
This missile uses solid propellant and carries a conventional payload of about 500 kg to one tone and also be fitted with a tactical nuclear warhead. “The missile is ready for the test. But preparation is on for locating the Pontoon (replica of a submarine) inside the sea. The tracking machineries and technical equipment have been shifted from the integrated test range to Vishakhapatnam,” the source added.
The K-15 missile has been tested at least six times and is in serial production. The missile was initially test-fired under the name of Sagarika project. While its launching was recorded partial success twice, the rest were claimed as “successful trials” by the DRDO.
The missile, which can be compared with the Tomahawk missile of US, is India’s response to Pakistan’s Babur missile. The source further said that the Navy has reportedly been insisting for the test of K-15′s cruise variant as it is hard to be obstructed and has pinpoint accuracy.
“Cruise missiles are more difficult to detect and hence less vulnerable to anti-missile defence, which can track and destroy ballistic missiles with comparative ease,” a defence scientist said. “Besides, the K-15 missile, India has another missile which can also be launched from a submarine. In a joint collaboration with Russia, a submarine-launched version of BrahMos cruise missile has been developed,” he added.