K-4 launched but media not informed

As anticipated in previous blog, the K-4 SLBM was successfully test-fired from an underwater pontoon off Vizag on Monday, March 7. The govt/DRDO have still to inform the media/press about it. The logic behind such rationing of publicity, however, escapes me. Sure, a failed launch is best kept under wraps. But the success of what is a decisive nuclear warhead delivery system from submerged platform is something that needs to be crowed about a bit, just so everybody knows. May be GOI/DRDO will later, if not sooner, get to this task.

About Bharat Karnad

Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, he was Member of the (1st) National Security Advisory Board and the Nuclear Doctrine-drafting Group, and author, among other books of, 'Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy', 'India's Nuclear Policy' and most recently, 'Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)'. Educated at the University of California (undergrad and grad), he was Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, and Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
This entry was posted in Asian geopolitics, Defence Industry, DRDO, Geopolitics, Great Power imperatives, India's strategic thinking and policy, Indian Navy, Military Acquisitions, Missiles, Nuclear Weapons, South Asia, Strategic Forces Command, Weapons. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to K-4 launched but media not informed

  1. satyaki says:

    Bharat Sir,

    Are you sure the test was successful ? There are articles in the New Indian Express about the test having taken place but the same said that the outcme was unknown. Also, was it the K-4 tested? Somebody posted on an online forum that the NOTAM indicated a 700 km range test or so…

    • S. Das says:

      K-4 was tested at least 2 times secretly in 2010, 2011 according to Sandeep Unnithan of India Today, though the world media had no cognizance about the testing. Then in 2014 it was tested 2 times, one on March 24 and the other on May 14. Since then it has started coming out of the closet. The NOTAM you indicated is about K-15 missile. My assumption is that through the NOTAM for a 750 km missile, DRDO wanted to keep the K-4 testing under wraps just it did so many times by repeatedly testing Prithvi Missile. And now after the secret testing of the missiles successfully a number of times, DRDO is leaking the info of the missile to the media. The objective of the test is to gauge the full operational range of the missile up to 3500 km with a mammoth 2-ton warhead.

      • Raahul Kumar says:

        A 2 ton warhead would make the range very low indeed. The range vs payload equation goes into detail, given the current state of Bharti rocketry, unless DRDO adopts composities and better propellants than what it is currently using that isn’t possible.

        Just wait for the K-5, that is the canistered SLBM version of the Agni 5 that will answer all your hope and dreams. 8000km with 1 ton payload is pretty good no matter how you slice it.

    • The best I know is that it was K-4.

  2. satyaki says:

    Bharat Sir,

    Maybe they tested the K-4 to a limited range, then. After all, even China tests its ICBMs at reduced ranges inland most of the time: from Taiyuan to Lop Nur (about 2000 km). This even for the DF-41/DF-5B which have a 12000 km maximum range. So, a limited range test of the K-4 is plausible.

  3. quickboy says:

    May be media was informed but they ignored it. A missile test is usually notified. is it not?.

    Well there are other secrets as well ……

    HAL Tejas really impressed the crowd at Bahrain…… we did not hear much

    LCH broke a world record by landing at SIACHIN, it is claimed to be the first Heli to land at such height with decent payload….. Another secret?.

    May be media is looking for another “UN-NAMED IAF Officer” to make a claim that missile did not work …..hehe and is yet to find one, Since this is about the Navy. and they usually are all named (unlike IAF and media Navy does not have Capt. Nemo, at least it appears like that) and does not run to media with news, of success or failure.

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