Indian Missile Program Updates

Shaurya Missile and India’s K missiles family


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Shaurya Missile

Mains level : India's missile programme

A successful trial of the nuclear-capable Shaurya missile was conducted by India.

Shaurya Missile

  • Shaurya is a land-based parallel of the submarine-launched K-15 missile.
  • It is a land variant of short-range SLBM K-15 Sagarika, which has a range of at least 750 kilometres.
  • These ballistic weapons belong to the K missile family — codenamed after late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam — which is launched from Arihant class of nuclear submarines.
  • Because these missiles are to be launched from submarines, they are lighter, smaller and stealthier than their land-based counterparts; the Agni series.

A look at what this family of missiles is their strategic importance as a nuclear deterrent and their recent tests.

K Family of missiles

  • The K family of missiles is primarily Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs), which have been indigenously developed by DRDO.
  • These are named after Dr Kalam, the central figure in India’s missile and space programmes who also served as the 11th President of India.
  • The development of this naval platform launched missiles began in the late 1990s as a step towards completing India’s nuclear triad (land, sea and air-based).

Strategic importance of SLBMs

  • The capability of being able to launch nuclear weapons submarine platforms has great strategic importance in the context of achieving a nuclear triad, especially in the light of ‘no first use’ policy of India.
  • The sea-based underwater nuclear-capable assets significantly increase the second strike capability of a country and thus boosts its nuclear deterrence.
  • These submarines can not only survive the first strike by the adversary but also can launch a strike in retaliation thus achieving Credible Nuclear Deterrence.
  • The development of these capabilities is important in light of India’s relations with the two neighbours China and Pakistan.

Try this PYQ now:

What is “Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)”, sometimes seen in the news? (CSP 2018)

(a) An Israeli radar system

(b) India’s indigenous anti-missile programme

(c) An American anti-missile system

(d) A defence collaboration between Japan and South Korea

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