India test-fires submarine-launched ballistic missile

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India successfully test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) on Friday, said an official statement.

“The missile was tested to a predetermined range and impacted the target area in the Bay of Bengal with very high accuracy. All operational and technological parameters of the weapon system have been validated,” the Defense Ministry statement said.

The INS Arihant, India’s first ballistic missile submarine (SSBN), was commissioned in August 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The successful user training launch of the SLBM by INS Arihant is significant to prove crew competency and validate the SSBN programme, a key element of India’s nuclear deterrence capability,” according to the statement.

A robust, survivable and assured retaliatory capability is in keeping with India’s policy to have “credible minimum deterrence” that underpins its “no first use” commitment, added the statement.

India operates three indigenous homemade ballistic missile submarines, and has developed two submarine-launched surface-to-surface missiles, the K-15 and the K-4.

After the US, Russia, the UK, France, and China, India is the sixth country in the world to have nuclear-powered submarines armed with ballistic missiles.