INDIA BEGINS WORK ON SUBMARINE LAUNCHED MISSILE
By Bulbul Singh
20 Nov 06. India has started work on a homegrown Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile program. Under this program undertaken by the country’s defence research agency, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)a variant of the short range missile Prithvi with a range of 350 kilometers will be developed for the Submarine Launch Program. DRDO’s Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile Project has been code named K-15 and will be able to carry even nuclear warheads. This project is in addition to the three variants of Prithvi missile developed by DRDO. The land and air variant have already been inducted in the defence forces.
DRDO’s Prithvi missile with a range of 150 kilometers and capable of carrying nuclear head has already been inducted in the Indian Army and another variant of the Prithvi, Prthvi-II has been inducted in the Indian Air Force. Another variant of Prithvi missile, Prithvi-III has been inducted in the Indian Navy with a range of 350 kilometers range and a 1,000 kilograms payload. It first successfully tested September 21, 2001. Currently the Indian Navy is weapon sing its large patrol crafts with the Prithvi-III variant.
The land variant is called Prithvi while the naval operational variant of Prithvi-I and Prithvi-II class missiles are named Dhanush. Both variants are used for surface targets.
The Prithvi-I which has already been inducted in the Indian army is a single stage liquid-fuelled surface-to-surface missile having a maximum warhead mounting capability of 1000 kg, with a range of 150 kilometers.
The Prithvi-II is also a single stage liquid-fuelled missile having a maximum warhead mounting capability of 1000kg, but with an extended range of 250 kilometres.
The Prithvi-III is a two-stage surface-to-surface missile in the developmental stages. The first stage is propelled by solid fuel while the second stage is a liquid fuel stage
The missile can carry a 1000 kilograms warhead to a distance of 350 kilometers.
India began its Prithvi in 1982 as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP). It is a road-mobile, short range ballistic missile (SRBM). Prithvi is powered by a single-stage, two engines, and liquid-fuel and it was first tested fired on February 25, 1988.
India on November 19 test-fired a medium-range nuclear-capable missile Prithvi with a range of up to 300 kilometers. A Prithvi variant was test fired from the integrated test range (IRT) at Chandipur-on-sea, about 15 kilometers from Balasore (Orissa).
Mounted on a mobile launcher, the indigenously built single-stage missile was successfully test fired, said an Indian defence ministry official. The 8.65 meter high and one meter thick missile has already been inducted into the army and two specially trained missile groups had been raised to handle the sophisticated missile.