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The submarine-launched ballistic missile test proves the credibility of India's naval nuclear deterrent. Indian ballistic missile submarines may now be able to target China and Pakistan from underwater locations when deployed.
The latest submarine-launched ballistic missile test proves that the home-made INS Arihant class submarines are operational in all respects.
"All operational and technological parameters of the weapon system have been validated," the Defence Ministry said in a statement today after the test-firing.
The submarine-launched ballistic missile, or SLBM, was tested to a predetermined range and impacted the target area in the Bay of Bengal with very high accuracy, the Defence Ministry said.
The successful test launch of the SLBM by INS Arihant is significant to prove crew competency and validate India's ballistic missile submarine programme, a key element of India's nuclear deterrence capability.
"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," the Defence Ministry said.
India operates three home-made ballistic missile submarines, and has developed two submarine-launched surface-to-surface missiles-the K-15 and the K-4. The latter has a range of 3,500 km, which acts as a nuclear deterrent against China.
The programme to build nuclear-powered submarines and fit them with submarine-launched ballistic missiles is, by far, the most complicated weapons development programme India has ever engaged in.
India is the 6th country in the world to have nuclear-powered submarines armed with ballistic missiles after the US, Russia, the UK, France and China.
INS Arihant is India's first home-made nuclear submarine. It was launched in July 2009, the anniversary of Vijay Diwas (Kargil War Victory Day) by former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh's wife Gursharan Kaur.
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