With the successful testing of the nuclear capable K-5 missile in the Bay of Bengal on Sunday, India has taken one more step towards a closed circle of nuclear deterrence.
The K-5 missile is a Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile, or SLBM, and is likely to be deployed aboard INS Arihant, the country’s indigenously developed nuclear submarine.
For any country to have a credible deterrence regime, it is important that it have nuclear weapons available on all platforms: land, air and sea-based. Of all these, it is submarines that matter the most as they are resistant to detection and hence, their deterring function most solid.
India needs to devote more attention to this part of its programme. At the moment, INS Arihant may be sufficient. But soon enough, it will have to devote resources to build submarines that are silent and have a much longer range.