India’s new Shaurya missile, which can carry a one-ton nuclear warhead over 750 kilometers, is specially designed to be fired from Indian submarines and could form the crucial third leg of India’s nuclear deterrent, India's top defense scientist has revealed.
V K Saraswat, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief and Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister, revealed to the daily Business Standard today that the Shaurya had been designed “so that it can be launched from under water as easily as from land. The gas-filled canister that houses the missile fits easily into a submarine. The underwater leg of the nuclear triad needs to be totally reliable and needs a state-of-the-art missile.”
“The Shaurya was developed from ground up as a submarine-capable missile,” confirms Dr Prahlada, the top DRDO scientist responsible for liaising with the military. “Every piece of technology for fitting it in a submarine is already in place.”
Saraswat has recently publicly stated that India’s missile technology was ahead of China’s and Pakistan’s.
Shaurya is not a ballistic missile, as it has been thought to be, writes the Business Standard; it is actually a hypersonic cruise missile.
“I would say the Shaurya is a hybrid propulsion missile”, says Saraswat. “Like a ballistic missile, it is powered by solid fuel. And, like a cruise missile, it can guide itself right up to the target.”