India successfully test-fired Intermediate range nuclear capable SLBM K-4

SLBM K-4 (Representation only)

India successfully test-fired intermediate-range nuclear-capable Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) K-4 from an underwater platform located at an undisclosed location in Bay of Bengal. The test conducted from a pontoon (replica of a submarine) nearly 30 nautical miles from Vishakhapatnam coast in Andhra Pradesh at about 1.21 pm and was highly successful.

The missile zeroed on the target with high accuracy reaching close to zero circular error probability. The missile travelled nearly 21 minutes and covered its full range of over 3,500 km.

Previous Attempts

The test was conducted after four failed attempts in the last two years. The last trial in December 2017 had ended in failure while the first and second trials in 2014 and 2016 respectively were successful.

Achievements for India

The success of K-4 missile, in terms of technology, is a significant achievement for India, which is emerging as a superpower in the South East Asia region with the development and deployment of some powerful yet potent missiles with limited budget and period.

About K-4

Considered as world’s best missile in its class, K-4 is about 12 metre in length with a diametre of 1.3 metre. It weighs around 17 tonne and can carry warhead weighing up to two tonne. The missile is powered by solid rocket propellant.

Step Further

While India has completed its nuclear triad with the commissioning of INS Arihant submarine, it will be equipped with K series missiles. The submarine can carry 12 K-15 missiles with a strike range of 750 km and four K-4 missiles.

What is Nuclear Triad?

A nuclear triad is a three-pronged military force structure that consists of land-launched nuclear missiles, nuclear-missile-armed submarines and strategic aircraft with nuclear bombs and missiles. Specifically, these components are land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), and strategic bombers. The purpose of having this three-branched nuclear capability is to significantly reduce the possibility that an enemy could destroy all of a nation’s nuclear forces in a first-strike attack. This, in turn, ensures a credible threat of a second strike, and thus increases a nation’s nuclear deterrence.


  1. New Indian Express
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