Indian Navy’s first SLBM declared operational

The Indian Navy has reportedly joined the nuclear triad club after operationalizing its first submarine-launched ballistic missile and testing it earlier this month.

Illustration: A 2013 test of the Indian Navy SLBM. Photo: Indian Press Information Bureau

According to The New Indian Express, which cited an unnamed defense official, the ‘Sagarika’ SLBM (referred to as B-05 in the report) was tested from aboard the INS Arihant nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine which was commissioned in 2016.

The test took place off the coast of Vizag early August and saw the submarine launch a total of three missiles. Officials deemed the test a success, according to the report.

The Indian Navy’s Sagarika SLBM has a range of about 700 km and can carry a 1,000 kg warhead. Unarmed test versions of the missile were previously launched by INS Arihant in 2015 and in 2016.