Indian Missile Program Updates

K-4 Missile


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : K-4 Missile, Circular Error Probability

Mains level : India's missile nuclear arsenal

India successfully test-fired the 3,500-km range submarine-launched ballistic missile, K-4. The test was carried out by the DRDO from a submerged pontoon off the Visakhapatnam coast around noon.


  • K-4 is a nuclear-capable Intermediate-range submarine-launched ballistic missile developed and tested successfully in the month of January 2020 by DRDO.
  • The missile has a maximum range of about 3500 km.
  • Once inducted, these missiles will be the mainstay of the Arihant class of indigenous ballistic missile nuclear submarines (SSBN).
  • It will give India the standoff capability to launch nuclear weapons submerged in Indian waters.

What’s so special about K-4?

: Circular Error Probability

  • India’s Circular Error Probability (CEP) is much more sophisticated than Chinese missiles.
  • The CEP determines the accuracy of a missile.
  • The lower the CEP, the more accurate the missile is.
  • There are very few countries which have managed to achieve this technological breakthrough.

About INS Arihant

  • The Advanced Technology Project (ATV) began in the 1980s and the first of them, Arihant, was launched in 2009.
  • INS Arihant, the first and only operational SSBN is armed with K-15 Sagarika missiles with a range of 750 km.
  • Given India’s position of ‘No-First-Use’ (NFU) in launching nuclear weapons, the SSBN is the most dependable platform for a second-strike.
  • Because they are powered by nuclear reactors, these submarines can stay underwater indefinitely without the adversary detecting it.
  • The other two platforms — land based and air launched are far easier to detect.

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