New Delhi: India successfully tested on Tuesday a submarine-launched missile which can carry a nuclear warhead, officials said, a move that boosts the country’s deterrence capabilities.
The K-15, a two-stage missile with a top range of 700 km (450 miles), was fired from a submerged pontoon in the Bay of Bengal and was seen leaving the sea off India’s eastern coast.
“It was a success,” defence ministry spokesman Sitanshu Kar said.
India, already capable of launching missiles from land and air, now moves a step closer to firing them from under the sea, an important step in creating nuclear deterrence to match countries like the United States, Russia, France and China.
Officials say the K-15 will be eventually deployed with a domestically built nuclear submarine, after further tests.
India is developing a submarine capable of launching ballistic missiles, including the K-15 and the longer-range Brahmos supersonic cruise missile jointly developed with Russia.
A land-based version of the Brahmos has been inducted into the Indian Army.
India’s military, the world’s fourth largest, is on a modernising spree.