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India’s K missile family

Date: 06 October 2020 Tags: Military


A successful trial of the nuclear capable Shaurya missile was conducted by India. Shaurya is a land-based parallel of the submarine launched K-15 missile.



These ballistic weapons belong to the K missile family, codenamed after late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, which are launched from Arihant class of nuclear submarines.



  • The K family of missiles are primarily Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs), which have been indigenously developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and are named after Dr Kalam.

  • The development of these naval platform launched missiles began in the late 1990s as a step towards completing India’s nuclear triad — 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.

  • While K family are primarily submarine-fired missiles to be fired from India’s Arihant class nuclear powered platforms, the land and air variants of some of its members have also been developed by the DRDO.

  • Shaurya is a land variant of short range SLBM K-15 Sagarika, which has a range of at least 750 km.

  • India has also developed and successfully tested multiple times the K-4 missiles from the family which has a range of 3500 km. 

  • The sea-based underwater nuclear capable assets significantly increases the second strike capability of a country and thus boosts its nuclear deterrence.

  • 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.

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