In an effort to further strengthen its protection for the Indian Navy’s submarines from enemy targets, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is all set to test K-4 nuclear missile off the coast of Andhra Pradesh on Friday.
The month of November is going to be hectic for DRDO has it has to get ready for testing more missiles including the Agni-3 and BrahMos missiles. The K-4 nuclear missile with a range of 3500 km has been specifically developed to protect the submarines and more specifically the Arihant class nuclear submarine.
The DRDO is expected to test the advanced systems in the K-4 nuclear missile system, from an underwater platform from Visakhapatnam. Besides the K-4, there is another nuclear missile BO-5 with a range of more than 700 km, developed by DRDO. However, the DRDO has refused to either confirm or deny testing these missiles on Friday.
Reportedly, the tests scheduled for October had to be postponed as the DRDO had to carry out further fine-tuning the systems of the K-4 Missile.
The K-4 missile which is expected to be with an underwater pontoon is a nuclear-powered medium-range submarine-launched missile designed by the DRDO and will be used primarily to protect the Indian Navy’s nuclear submarines.
Why K-4 and so many tests?
The DRDO started work on this missile when technical problems emerged in the induction of Agni-3 missile with similar capabilities to INS Arihant.
Unfortunately, Agni-3 could not fit in the Arihant class submarine being made in India as it has a diameter of 17 meters. This led to the creation of K-4 which has capabilities of Agni-3 and has been designed to fit in the Arihant class submarines.
The DRDO in 2010, the K-4 gas launcher was first successfully tested with a pontoon (small submarine).
The K-4 submarine is 12 meters long and has a diameter of 1.3 meters.
The weight is around 17 tons and the rocket is propelled by solid fuel. It can carry an explosive of about 2 tons.
DRDO is trying to achieve perfect firepower.
In 2014, at the depth of 30 meters, the test of K-4 was successful on the banks of Visakhapatnam. In May 2014, before being handed over to the Indian Navy further tests of the missile were announced.
The K-4 was tested again in the Bay of Bengal with a pontoon in 2016 and success was achieved once again.
As one DRDO official said, such periodic tests are carried out to fine-tune the systems and to ensure that all parameters are achieved during tests.