The Indian strategic forces got a major boost on Sunday after the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) tested a 3,500-kilometre range submarine-launched K-4 ballistic missile off the Vizag coast, with the nuclear weapon meeting all its target objectives, officials with direct knowledge of the matter said.
The three-metre-tall missile carries a nuclear warhead of over one tonne with a circular error probability (CEP) far lower than that of Chinese ballistic missiles.
Only the US, Russia and China have submarine-launched ballistic missiles of 3,500-kilometre range. The INS Arihant is already equipped with a 700-kilometre range B-02 nuclear missile, with the second nuclear submarine INS Arighat on way to becoming operational.
Top government officials told sources that with this test India has moved one more step towards the induction of this ballistic missile on the INS Arihant class of nuclear submarines.
The missile was fired off a pontoon between 12 noon and 1pm off the Vizag coast in Andhra Pradesh and the delivery platform was tracked over 1,500 kilometres before it shifted to ship-based radars.