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A recent missile test by India has sparked discussions among experts regarding its potential impact on the country’s strategic arsenal. According to Matt Korda of the Federation of American Scientists, India’s successful test of a Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) equipped Agni-V MKII intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) earlier this year raises questions about the future of India’s submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) program.

MIRV technology allows a single missile to carry multiple warheads, each capable of hitting a separate target. This development in India’s ICBM program suggests potential advancements in its SLBM technology as well.

India’s current K-5 SLBM is estimated to have a range similar to the Agni-V land-based missile (around 5,500 km). While it’s unclear if the K-5 will incorporate MIRV technology, the upcoming K-6 SLBM, based on the Agni-VI ICBM Concept, is expected to have a significantly longer range exceeding 8,000 km. This extended range would bring a large portion of the globe within striking distance of Indian submarines.

Experts speculate that India’s DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) might be developing even more advanced SLBMs like the K-7 and K-8, potentially pushing the range beyond 10-12,000 km. This theoretical capability would allow India to launch SLBMs from anywhere in the world, reaching any target.

The development of such long-range missiles with MIRV capability could significantly alter the strategic landscape in the region and beyond. It’s important to note that these are speculations, and the actual capabilities of future Indian SLBMs remain to be seen.

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