INS Arihant: India’s first indigenous nuclear-powered submarine completes Nuclear Triad; PM Modi hails crew; top things to know

INS Arihant: For the first time it was officially acknowledged that India has a nuclear submarine, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted “Dhanteras gets even more special! India’s pride, nuclear submarine INS Arihant successfully completed its first deterrence patrol!”

INS Arihant:
File pic of an Indian Navy submarine

INS Arihant: The indigenous INS Arihant India’s first nuclear-powered submarine successfully completed its first deterrence patrol. The ship submersible ballistic, nuclear (SSBN) submarine is part of Indian Navy’s India’s Eastern Naval Command. The name Arihant derives from two words – Ari meaning enemy and Hanth meaning destroy. The second SSBN under the project, INS Aridhaman, is undergoing sea trials.

The vessel has been designed by the Indian Navy’s Submarine Design Bureau and developed by the Indian Navy, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Now India has joined a select group of countries (US, Russia, China, France and the UK) which builds and operates Ship Submersible Ballistic Nuclear (SSBN).

Read PM Modi’s tweet

For the first time it was officially acknowledged that India has a nuclear submarine, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted “Dhanteras gets even more special! India’s pride, nuclear submarine INS Arihant successfully completed its first deterrence patrol!”

He received the crew of Strategic Strike Nuclear Submarine (SSBN) INS Arihant, which recently returned from its first deterrence patrol, completing the establishment of the country’s survivable nuclear triad.

At present, the only nuclear powered platform in service with the Indian Navy is the INS Chakra, an Akula class SSN on lease from Russia.

Congratulating the crew and all involved in the achievement which puts India among a handful of countries having the capability to design, construct and operate SSBNs, he stressed the significance of the successful deployment of INS Arihant for the completion of India’s nuclear triad.

He commended the courage and commitment of India’s brave soldiers and the talent and perseverance of its scientists, whose untiring efforts transformed the scientific achievement of nuclear tests into establishment of an immensely complex and credible nuclear triad, and dispelled all doubts and questions about India’s capability and resolve in this regard.

India remains committed to the doctrine of Credible Minimum Deterrence and No First Use, as was decided by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) in its meeting chaired by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, 2003.

A robust nuclear command and control structure, effective safety assurance architecture and strict political control have been put under India’s Nuclear Command Authority.

Country’s first nuclear missile submarine has passed several deep sea diving drills as well as weapons launch tests over the past several months under extreme secrecy. The vessel has have undergone deep sea dives off Vishakhapatnam where it was build.

Indian Navy does not have a submarine rescue vessel of this class – a vital requirement during weapon firing tests where all possibilities need to be catered for. And it is expected to have on board K 15 (or BO-5) short range missiles with a range of over 700 km and the K 4 ballistic missile with a range of 3,500 km. For communicating with the submarine, a communication facility has already been set up in the Navy.

The design of the vessels has been based on the Russian Akula-1 Class submarine and weighs 6,000t. Considered to be the longest in the Indian Navy’s submarine fleet it can carry up to 95 crew. It has the ability to stay under water for long periods undetected due to the nuclear-powered 80MW pressurised water reactor (PWR), which has been developed by the BARC.

This is the first of the five vessels that is ready to be inducted soon. Work is going on two more Arihant class submarines at the Ship Building Center (SBC) in Vishakhapatnam which will be larger and more advanced than the first one.

Facilities have already been created on the Eastern Coast near Kakinada where the nuclear assets of the navy will be based. The vessel which is expected to carry sea-based nuclear weapons will be handled by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) under the Nuclear Command Authority (NCA).

What is INS Arihant?

INS Arihant is India’s first nuclear-powered submarine. The ship is submersible ballistic, nuclear (SSBN) submarine It has been built at the naval dockyard in Visakhapatnam, with assistance of Russian designers assisted in building the vessel.

It was earlier known as advanced technology vessel (ATV). It has been under development since 1998. Construction of five more nuclear-powered submarines is also being planned.

Tata Power, a division of Tata Group and Larsen & Toubro (L&T), a technology, engineering, construction and manufacturing company are part of this project.

Currently, the Navy has 16 diesel-electric submarines leased from Russia and Germany. 3 D modelling technology has been used. In 2009 INS Arihant was launched for sea trials. It can carry all types of missiles including underwater missiles.

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