India Joins Nuclear Submarine Club with INS Arihant Commissioning (Download PDF)


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India commissioned INS Arihant its first strategic nuclear submarine into service. It is a nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine. This 6,000 ton submarine was built under the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project at the Ship Building Yard in Visakhapatnam. Although it was ready for operations in February 2016, the commissioning was done in August 2016.

Image of India Nuclear Submarine

Image of India Nuclear Submarine

Image of India Nuclear Submarine

Earlier, India was using nuclear submarine INS Chakra on lease from Russia.

INS Arihant

  • Nuclear submarine capable of carrying nuclear ballistic missiles. It completes India’s capability to launch nuclear strike from land, air, sea, and under-ocean.
  • Hence, it belongs to class INS- Arihant and referred to as Ship Submersible Ballistic Nuclear (SSBN).
  • In August 2016, INS Arihant was commissioned by Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba.

Features of INS Arihant

  • Designed on the Russian Akula-1 class submarine.
  • Built with Russia’s help under Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) at the Ship Building Centre Visakhapatnam.
  • 6,000-ton in weight, 110-metre-long.
  • Powered by 83 MW pressurised light water nuclear reactor with enriched uranium fuel.
  • Armed with K-15 Sagarika missiles with a range of 750 km.
  • Can be armed with much longer-range K-4 missiles (3,500 km range, developed by DRDO).

Ship Submersible Ballistic Nuclear (SSBN)

  • Designed to skulk the deep ocean waters and carry nuclear weapons.
  • Gives second-strike capability to India as the nation has declared the ‘No-First-Use’ of nuclear weapons as a part of its nuclear policy.

Nuclear Triad Capability of India

  • India becomes six countries to hold Nuclear Triad.
  • India is now capable of delivering nuclear weapons by ballistic missiles through aircraft, submarine, and land.
  • India Army is strong in land based Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). It includes:

    • Agni series
    • Prithvi series
    • Prahar Missile
    • Shaurya Missile
    • Supersonic Brahmos
    • Subsonic Nirbhay missiles
  • Indian Airforce (IAF) has Jaguars for deep penetration strike capable of carrying nuclear bomb.
  • IAF also has SU 30 MKI and Rafale aircrafts, which can deliver nuclear weapons.

Advantages of Nuclear Submarines

  • Undetectable due to extremely low noise profile.
  • Nuclear reactor can keep the submarine submerged for as long as required.
  • Nuclear power output can support the larger crews and more on-board equipment increasing the scope and timelines of missions.
  • Can remain under the water for many months.
  • Requires less fuel as they do not need an oxygen source.

Presently, 6 countries have nuclear-powered strategic submarines such as:

  1. United States
  2. Russia
  3. United Kingdom
  4. France
  5. China
  6. India
Image shows Length of Submarines

Image Shows Length of Submarines

Image shows Length of Submarines

- Published/Last Modified on: October 18, 2016


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