India has joined the elite club of countries having submarines with nuclear missile capable of hitting targets 700 kilometres away. This is another achievement in India’s growing military might. United States of America (USA), Russia, China and France are the only other countries possessing this capability, other than India. India equipped its latest nuclear-powered submarine INS Arihant with a new nuclear-capable missile K-15 (Sagarika) which is also known as B-05.
Union Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman informed about this achievement during the annual DRDO award ceremony held in New Delhi on Monday. She also extolled scientists, A. Joseph and M. Ugender Reddy for the crucial role played by them in the development of K-15 Sagarika missile and its land versions. She also officially announced that the Indian nuclear submarine, INS Arihant, will carry the advance K-15 Sagarika missiles. This will provide India with an option of launching a counterattack in the event of a nuclear strike.
According to Zee News, citation of the award presented to the scientist’s reads, “It is an indigenous missile with several innovative designs and a unique mechanism. Numerous critical technologies were proved in the successful trials, which paved the way for developing other long-range strategic missiles and has the potential to be launched from submarine, ship, and land.”
With this major development in nuclear missile technology now India has a completed the nuclear triad of air, land and sea. India is on the sixth position in the list of countries with most number of nuclear weapons. India is not a member of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
The 10.22-metre long solid-fueled K-15 Sagarika missile was tested off the waters of Visakhapatnam from an underwater pontoon in January 2013. On 25 November 2015, a dummy K-15 Sagarika missile was successfully test fired from INS Arihant. INS Arihant was inducted into the Navy service in 2016. India Scientists are also working on developing K-4 missile with a range of 3,000 km. Last year, India successfully tested its multi-layered, missile defense system.
India is beefing up its defence sector with rapid speed. Since the advent of Modi government, defence sector has shown major positive developments. Deals like that of 36 Rafale fighters, 145 M-777 ultra-light howitzers, and 22 Apache attack and 15 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters are some of the examples of positive development in defence sector under Modi government. The sector suffered policy paralysis under UPA government but now Modi government is giving ample attention to Indian defence. Modi government also fulfilled the promise of long pending demand of One Rank One Pension (OROP). It has benefited over 21 lakh Army veterans. PMO and defence ministry is personally monitoring the UP government’s ambitious Defence Industrial Corridor project. The speed of decision taking has increased and productivity has also seen exponential growth. Under Make in India program, Modi government has granted 56 defence manufacturing licenses to the private sector companies in its first year of rule. India spends a huge amount of money in buying defence weapons and equipment from foreign countries. This is a move to make India self-dependent in weapons manufacturing. The ministry has been free from any scam unlike UPA era where major scams rocked South Block. 150 actual contracts worth over Rs 2 lakh crore have been inked. Government is also working on modernization of weapons. Despite increase in spending, there has been hardly any increase in the country’s annual defence budget. Modi government is working very hard to strengthen defence of India because it knows without strengthening defence, nation cannot be guarded.