Following the DRDO’s testing of the “Shaurya” hypersonic nuclear-capable missile earlier this month, new reports hint that the missile has been approved by the Indian government for induction and deployment against China.
According to the Indian news agency Hindustan Times, the missile is set to be inducted with the Strategic Forces Command of the Indian Armed Forces, under the Nuclear Command Authority headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.
“According to top missile experts, Shaurya is a delivery system stored in a composite canister for rapid deployment and minimum interaction with the elements for a long period. The strategic missile flies at a supersonic speed of Mach 7, or 2.4 km per second, at a height of 50 km (within atmosphere) and hits the designated target at Mach 4,” HT reported.
It also added that the missile has a warhead weighing around 160 kg, and can precisely strike targets upto 800 kilometers. The Hypersonic speed of the missile during its final phases enables it to evade any air defence systems.
The missile’s capability of being fired from mobile TELs gives it a huge advantage over silo-based missiles, which gives the Indian government the flexibility of giving an adequate ‘punch’ to the hostile forces nearing its borders in case of an invasion. Considering its worsening ties with its two major neighbours Pakistan and China, the missile, as a tactical deterrence, gives leverage to the Indians.
The distance from New Delhi to Islamabad is about 690 kilometers, well within the range of Shaurya.
According to W. Selvamurthy, Chief Controller (Life Sciences and International Relations), DRDO, Shourya had a big element of surprise because it could be kept in locations where the enemies would not be able to detect it.
“Besides, it cannot be detected by satellite imaging. It will surprise our adversaries and strengthen our strategic defence,” Dr. Selvamurthy asserted, talking to The Hindu during the missile’s test-firing in 2011.
The Defense Research and Development Organisation has been developing and testing weapon systems rapidly to enhance the capabilities of Indian Armed Forces especially when the country is facing a fierce standoff with China.