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Jan 20, 2020, 04.48 PM IST

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SUBMARINE

India successfully test-fires nuclear-capable K-4 ballistic missile off AP coast

India is expected to carry out more tests of the missile before it is ready for being equipped on the nuclear submarines. At the moment, only the first nuclear boat INS Arihant is operational for the Navy. K-4 is one of the two underwater missiles that are being developed by India for its submarine force. The other one is the over 700-kilometre strike range BO-5.

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  • At the centre of the controversy is the Rs 45,000-cr submarine contest for the Navy—referred to as P 75I—that will see the winning Indian entity producing six submarines domestically with a foreign technology partner. The contract is being processed under the ‘strategic partnership model’.

    The Arabian Sea region is strategically important for India as major ports including Kandla, Okha , Mumbai, Nhava Sheva (Navi Mumbai), Mormugão, New Mangalore, and Kochi are located there. The joint maritime exercises began on Monday in the North Arabian Sea, regarded strategically significant for China which is now developing Pakistan's deep water Gwadar port there.

    No fewer than 23 modern surface warships were launched by China in 2019, this total including nine destroyers (two Type 055s and seven Type 052Ds), twelve Type 056 corvettes, one Type 075 landing helicopter dock and one Type 071 landing platform dock. Notable was the absence of any Type 054A frigate construction with production having temporarily halted.

    The Indian Navy had planned to build six nuclear attack submarines along with the Arihant Class SSBNs which are nuclear-powered submarines equipped with nuclear missiles. The nuclear attack submarines are also planned to be built indigenously in partnership with private sector industries.

    India now has a new lethal weapons platform to keep a ‘strategic eye’ over the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), especially the Bay of Bengal, as well as carry out ‘long-range precision strikes’ against hostile aircraft carriers or other high-value targets by day and night in all-weather conditions in the region.

    "All social networking platforms including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and other messengers from here on now will not be allowed at the naval bases and ships," said a senior Indian Navy officer. On December 20, Intelligence agencies busted an espionage racket linked to Pakistan with the arrest of seven Indian Navy personnel and a hawala operator.

    Royal Caribbean is opening the second phase of its $250 million Perfect Day at CocoCay island in January.

    In November 2017, India, the US, Australia and Japan gave shape to the long-pending "Quad" Coalition to develop a new strategy for keeping the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence. China has been trying to expand its military presence in the Indo-Pacific, which is a biogeographic region, including the South China Sea.

    The Myanmar Navy acquired a diesel-electric Kilo Class submarine from India. The submarine, scheduled to start operations from December 24, is to be deployed in the Andaman Sea for security missions.The Royal Thai Navy's 3rd Naval Area Command has been told to keep a watch on the submarine, which can operate underwater for up to 45 days.

    The 3,500-km range missile, designed for the Arihant class of nuclear submarines, will be tested from a fixed underwater pontoon as part of the developmental trials being conducted by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

    “No recent reports of Chinese submarines docking at Sri Lankan ports. The government keeps a close watch on all developments having a bearing on India’s security and economic interests, and takes all necessary measures to safeguard it," the MEA said in a written statement in Lok Sabha.

    Sources said that the 3,500 km range missile, designed for the Arihant class of nuclear submarines, is likely to be tested from a fixed underwater pontoon as part of the developmental trials being conducted by the DRDO within a fortnight. The last test of the K4 was attempted in 2017 and there has been an urgency to expedite the developmental process.

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