India requires a land-based conventional ballistic missile to punch through land forces across the LAC and repel any aircraft carrier-based threat from the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea.
The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has completed the design of a 1,500-kilometer range conventionally armed ballistic missile with an anti-ship variant in light of the fact that China’s land-based conventional ballistic missile arsenal is developing quickly.
The conventionally armed missile, whose name has not yet been revealed, will thwart any threat posed by ships in the Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal, and Arabian Sea as the DRDO waits for approval from the Narendra Modi administration to go to the development stage. The provinces of Xinjiang, Tibet, and Yunnan will also be protected from any land-based threats coming from the other side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Although India has nuclear cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of up to 5000 km from land and up to 3500 km from a sea-based deterrent, it lacks conventional ballistic missiles to engage the opponent on land and at sea.
By being deployed along the coast, the missile would not only prevent any carrier-based strike group from posing a danger to India from the Indian Ocean, but it will also offer land-based defence to its own aircraft carriers in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.
The Dong Feng 26, the first and only land-based missile capable of aiming at an American air force facility in the US territory of Guam in the Indo-Pacific, is part of the PLA’s expanding arsenal of conventional land-based missiles and launchers with a 4,000 km range. The DF-26 missile, sometimes known as the “Guam killer,” is a deterrent to the PLA against carrier-based attack forces and airborne assault from a large distance from China’s east coast.
The other Chinese conventional missile is the DF 21 D, which has a 1550 km range and can manoeuvre during re-entry for improved accuracy. Chinese propaganda media refers to the DF-21 D, the first anti-ship ballistic missile ever developed, as a carrier killer in order to endanger US Navy aircraft carriers engaged in freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea.
India needs a conventional intermediate-range ballistic missile to target any sea-based threat to the country’s nearly 7,000 kilometres of coastline, excluding island territories, as carrier-based Chinese attack forces are likely to join the Indian Ocean area by 2025.
The missile will give India’s conventional ballistic missile, the BA-02, with a range of more than 700 km more punch.