Strategic Weapons: The Indian Grandson Of Polaris


November 16,2008:  India has conducted another successful test of its K15 Sagarika SLBM (Sea Launched Ballistic Missile). This test was from a missile silo sitting on the ground, as India is still developing a submarine that can carry the K15.

Earlier this year, India announced that it had perfected the technology for launching ballistic missiles from a submerged submarine. That meant the silo design had been perfected as well. The seven ton K15 has been successfully tested four times now. In the last few tests, the metal silo was being tested as well. The K-15 has a 1,000 kilometer range, and a half ton payload, which is sufficient to handle a nuclear warhead. India is expects to have a nuclear submarine capable of carrying the K-15 in 5-10 years.

The first SLBM was the U.S. Polaris A1, which began development 52 years ago, and entered service in 1961. Like the K-15, it was a two stage, solid fuel missile. The Polaris A1 weighed 13 tons, had a range of 2,200 kilometers and a one ton warhead.



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