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Shaurya Missile

  • 05 Oct 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, a successful trial of the nuclear-capable Shaurya missile was conducted by India.

Key Points

  • Shaurya Missile:
    • Shaurya is a land variant of short-range Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) K-15 Sagarika, which has a range of at least 750 kilometers.
    • It is capable of carrying payloads of 200 kg to 1000 kg.
    • It is a surface-to-surface tactical missile.
    • These ballistic missiles belong to the K missile family - codenamed after late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam - which are launched from Arihant class of nuclear submarines.
    • Shaurya, like many of the modern missiles, is a canister-based system, which means that it is stored and operated from specially designed compartments.
    • The missile is less vulnerable to anti-ballistic missile defence systems due to its high maneuverability.
  • The K Family of Missiles:
    • The K family of missiles are primarily Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs).
    • These have been indigenously developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
    • The development of these missiles began in the late 1990s as a step towards completing India’s nuclear triad.
      • Nuclear triad is the capability of launching nuclear weapons from land, sea and air-based assets.
    • Because these missiles are to be launched from submarines, they are lighter, smaller and stealthier than their land-based counterparts - the Agni series of missiles which are medium and intercontinental range nuclear capable ballistic missiles.
    • India has also developed and successfully tested multiple times the K-4 missiles from the family which has a range of 3500 km.
    • The early development trials of K-15 and K-4 missiles had begun in the early 2010s.
    • K-5 and K-6 with ranges of 5000 and 6000 km are also under development.
  • Strategic Importance of SLBMs:
    • Nuclear Deterrence: The capability of SLMBs has great strategic importance in the context of achieving a nuclear triad, especially in the light of the ‘no first use’ policy of India which acts as a deterrent.
      • These submarines can not only survive a 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.

Ballistic Missile

  • It is a rocket-propelled self-guided strategic-weapons system that follows a parabolic trajectory to deliver a payload from its launch site to a predetermined fixed target.
  • Ballistic missiles can carry conventional high explosives as well as chemical, biological, or nuclear munitions.

Ballistic Missile Defence System in India

  • A Ballistic Missile Defence system (BMD) is a missile defence system that acts as a shield against ballistic missile attacks.
  • India’s BMD development began in 1999, after the Kargil war.
  • The primary aim was to augment India’s defence against possible nuclear attack from Pakistan.
  • India seeks to deploy a functional ‘iron dome’ ballistic missile defence (BMD), incorporating both low-altitude and high-altitude interceptor missiles.
  • India’s BMD is primarily developed by DRDO with help of many public and private firms like BEL, Astra Microwave, L&T, etc.
  • Ballistic missiles of India: Agni, K-4 (SLBM), Prahaar, Dhanush, Prithvi and Trishul.

Source: IE

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