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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


BO5 / K-15 / Sagarika / Shourya (Valor)

This missile, whose name has been variously given as Sagarika or at times K-15 or even Dhanush, has finally been christened as BO5 - a medium-range ballistic missile.

On 12 November 2008 India conducted the fourth successful test of its new SLBM (Sea Launched Ballistic Missile). This test was from a land-based missile silo. In the last few tests, the metal silo was being tested as well. The K-15 seven ton has a 1,000 kilometer range, and a half ton payload. India test fired the submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) K-15 from a land-based launcher from Orissa. The land based version is named as 'Shourya'.

The Shourya missile is said to be about 10 meters long. It can carry warheads weighing more than 500 kg. W. Selvamurthy, Chief Controller (R&D), DRDO, said the Shourya missile provided the country with "a second strike capability" because it was a variant of the under-water launched Sagarika missile. "We can keep the missile in a secured position [silo] to carry either conventional or nuclear warheads," Dr. Selvamurthy said. Reportedly, although the Shourya needed a silo with a maximum depth of 50 meters to lift off, it could be launched from 30-meter deep silos [these numbers reference the depth of the water column above the silo, as 50 meters is the depth from which the missile would be launched]. It had a booster which fired underground and another which fired in the air.

The DRDO termed as "successful" the flight-test of the 'Shourya' missile system from the Interim Test Range (ITR) at Balasore in Orissa at 1125 hours 12 November 2008. The "Shourya" missile "flew at five times the speed of sound, that is Mach 5, for 300 km" of its 600-km range, according to M. Natarajan, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister. Its velocity gradually tapered off during the remaining 300 km of its flight and then it plunged vertically over the targeted site in the Bay of Bengal. What was outstanding about the Shourya's success was the performance of its indigenous navigation system with the help of a ring-laser gyroscope, Mr. Natarajan said. He called it "a sophisticated navigation and guidance system produced by the Research Centre, Imarat" (RCI) in Hyderabad.

The missile was test fired from a 30-40 feet deep pit with in-built canister specially designed for this purpose. There was no water in the pit. The missile has a range of 600 km and flight duration of 485 seconds. The test was intended to check speed, trajectory, azimuth and other parameters of the missile. What was outstanding about the Shourya's success was the performance of its indigenous navigation system with the help of a ring-laser gyroscope, according to M. Natarajan, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister.

According to one report Shourya can reach targets 700 km away, carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads. It is 10 meters long and 74 cm in diameter and weighs 6.2 tonnes. It is a two-stage missile and both its stages are powered by solid propellants. Its flight time is 500 seconds to 700 seconds. It can carry warheads weighing more than 500 kg.

The missile has a unique feature of simplicity of operation and maintenance. It can be easily handled, transported and stored within the canister for longer shelf life. The missile, encased in a canister, is mounted on a single vehicle, which has only a driver's cabin, and the vehicle itself is the launch platform. This "single vehicle solution" reduces its signature - it cannot be easily detected by satellites - and makes its deployment easy. The composite canister make the missile much easier to store for long periods without maintenance as well as to handle and transport. It also houses the gas generator to eject the missile from the canister before its solid propellant motors take over to hurl it at the intended target.

The high manoeuvrability of the missile makes it less vulnerable to available anti-missile defence systems. The missile performed a maneuver of rolling to spread the heat uniformly on its surface. Its high manoeuvrability makes it less vulnerable to present-day anti-missile defence systems.




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