K-5 SLBM: India’s Next Big thing?
K-5 is a nuclear capable submarine-launched ballistic missile reportedly being developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the Indian strategic forces’ underwater platforms.It will arm the future variants of Arihant class submarines of the Indian Navy.
The K-series of missiles supposedly have better and lighter rocket casings, advanced guidance technologies for greater accuracy and a capability to fly depressed trajectories to stay away from missile defence systems for longer.
Named after Kalam, a secret family of advanced weapons is taking shape but the Government is yet to decide on the induction of their land-based variants.
In a dramatic breakthrough in its nuclear offensive capability, India has successfully tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) with an eventual range of 3,500 km. Tested secretly off Visakhapatnam in January last year, the 10-m long and 1.3-m wide missile emerged from a pontoon submerged 50 m underwater and breached the surface. Painted black and white so that it can be distinguished in water, it has passed a critical parameter.
K-4 is quite significant in a batch of new-generation counter-strike strategic missiles. The top secret indigenous “K” missiles are faster, lighter and stealthier. They also make India only the sixth country to develop undersea strategic missiles.
K-5 SLBM will have a range of in excess of 6000 km with 2-tonne payload which can carry four multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) warheads of 500kgs each.
While the Actual range of K-5 will remain classified but with MIRV warheads, the missile will be able to hit targets as far as 8000-10000 km. Indian Government seems to be non-committal to confirm if the development of Agni-VI with MIRV is under development but many Defence analysts think that India might be under tremendous pressure to cap its land-based ICBM program in lieu for support from other countries for its NSG entry, this might force India to divert its focus on SLBM development.
The family of K-Series of Submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) developed by India has been developed under countries Black Project while maintaining a high level of secrecy. K-15 SLBM has 750-1000 km ranged the first missile from K-Series, which was followed up by the development of K-4 SLBM which has a 3500-5000 km range and now next missile to be developed will be K-5 with a reported range of over 6000 km with MIRV Warheads.
India at present is constructing Three Arihant Class Nuclear ballistic missile Submarine and lead INS Arihant Submarine already has been inducted into Indian Navy and work on Second Submarine is nearing completion and work are already underway on the third submarine.
India also plans to construct bigger and better Nuclear ballistic missile Submarines post completion of work on Arihant Class Submarines new larger which will be designated as S5 and will be as big as Ohio class nuclear-powered submarines currently used by the United States Navy.India is also planning to develop Six indigenous Nuclear attack Class Submarines to patrol vast Indian ocean.