Shourya is a nuclear capable hypersonic missile developed from the Sagarika missile developed under the K-15 project. Shourya is being offered to the services as an important component of the Indian quest for a credible land based nuclear deterrent. The missile is also known by the designation B-05.
Shourya is a surface-to-surface tactical missile with a range of 750-km and a payload of about one ton, for use by the Army and Navy. It can carry both conventional as well as nuclear warheads.
The missile range is likely to be much longer with a lighter nuclear warhead.
It has been designed as a canister stored and launched missile for use by the Army and for launch from submerged submarines.
The missile's warhead can manoeuvre to evade enemy defenses.
Shourya 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, Shourya cruises at extremely high altitudes at hypersonic speeds using rocket power.
Shourya 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 Shourya 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.
Shourya's first stage takes the missile 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 said, "Like a ballistic missile, it is powered by solid fuel. And, like a cruise missile, it can guide itself right up to the target."
'Shourya' can be canisterized for mobility and launched from silos making its detection and targeting in an enemy first strike difficult.
Once sealed in a canister, it can be taken to any place giving it great tactical and operational advantage. It can be deployed anywhere - in hilly terrain, desert etc. It is a relatively light, highly mobile, solid propellant fuelled missile. There is no preparation required.
The missile is ejected from its canister by means of a gas generator developed by the High Energy Materials Research Laboratory, Pune and the ASL, both DRDO laboratories.
DRDO will take up production of the missile as per the requirement of the services.
Shourya was first tested at 11.25 am on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 from Complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur.
The missile was launched vertically from an underground facility with an in-built canister.
"The missile was test fired from a 30-40 feet deep pit with in-built canister specially designed for the purpose. There was no water in the pit," a source said.
The missile flew to its target in 485 secs.
The missile uses a ring laser gyro developed by the DRDO for use on the Agni III missile.
"Since the missile is fired from underground, it cannot be detected by conventional satellite imaging," Dr. Selvamurthy said.
Shourya could get through the air defense of an adversary country because it was highly manoeuvrable, Dr. Selvamurthy said.
The second test of the missile wasn't announced, but was claimed to be a success.
A third test of the missile was initially scheduled between September 17 and 18, 2011, but took place at 2.30 PM on September 24, 2011.
As earlier, the test will be conducted from Launch Complex III at Chandipur. The missile was canister launched from an underground silo, nearly 30 ft deep.
According to a DRDO press release,
"The Missile has reached the target within few meters accuracy. Missile is equipped with multiple advanced computing systems, very high accuracy navigation and guidance systems."
The Hindu reported that the missile flew at 7.5M and covered its full range of 700 km in 500 secs. The missile performed a terminal evasive maneuver before accurately striking the target.
According to The Hindu the missile is 10 m long, 74 cm in diameter and weighs 6.2 tons. The missile was earlier reported as being 50 cm in diameter and 6.5 tons in weight.