Sagarika, or K-15, or B-05 is a submarine-launched quasi ballistic missile currently under development for use on INS Arihant, India's first nuclear-powered submarine.
The solid propellant, two stage K-15 missile is reportedly 10m long and 1m in diameter. It carries a 500 kg warhead and has a range of approximately 700 km (435 miles).
The land based version of the K-15 is called the Shourya.
The K-15 is a two stage, solid fueled weapon with characteristics of both ballistic and cruise missiles. Unlike conventional cruise missile, which cruise at extremely low altitudes and subsonic speeds using turbo fan engines, Sagrika cruises at extremely high altitudes at hypersonic speeds using rocket power.
The Sagrika can be classified as a quasi ballistic missile.
A quasi ballistic missiles doesn't follow a pure ballistic trajectory. It stays within the atmosphere and flies to its targets at hypersonic speeds, performing maneuvers to confuse enemy defenses. Its time to target is considerably less than that of a ballistic missile, giving the enemy lesser reaction time.
The Sagrika is comparable to Russia's Iskander missile that can cruise at hypersonic speed of Mach 6 - 7 at a height of 50 km and maneuver to evade ballistic missile defenses. The Iskander-M weighs 4,615 kg and carries a warhead of 710 – 800 kg to a range of 480 km, achieving a CEP of 5 – 7 m.
The Sagrika's first stage takes it to an altitude of 7km. The second stage lofts it further up to 40 kms. The missile then flips over and flies at constant altitude at seven times the speed of sound like a cruise missile.
During the endgame, the missile guides itself to the target maneuvering with the help of fins to evade missile defenses and strike within 20-30m of its target 750 km away.
The missile's flat trajectory, hypersonic speed and small cross-section make tracking and interception difficult.
Speaking to the press at DefExpo 2010, DRDO Chief VK Sarsawat described the K-15's land based version, Shourya, as being "Like a ballistic missile, it is powered by solid fuel. And, like a cruise missile, it can guide itself right up to the target."
The missile is in serial production but has not been fitted to any platform.
India successfully tested the 'Sagarika' missile under the K-15 project on February 26, 2008, off the coast of Visakhapatnam from a pontoon simulating the conditions of a submarine.
The missile has since been tested at total of six times. Two tests were partially successful and the remaining four full successful.
At launch, a gas-charged booster pushes the missile to the surface, when the first stage of the missile ignites.
A test of the missile from an underwater platform off the Vishakhapatnam coast is scheduled for January 31, 2011.