Nuclear propelled INS Arihant to be commissioned soon

19 Apr 2016 | Written by Achin Garg; Edited by Gaurav

INS Arihant, India's indigenously developed nuclear submarine is undergoing sea acceptance trials and will be commissioned soon.

The 6,000 tonnes submarine is India's first nuclear submarine and has the ability to launch nuclear weapons from undersea.

It was built at the Vishakhapatnam Shipyard with assistance from Russia.

India is building 45 ships across various shipyards in the country of which 2 are Arihant-class submarines.

In context: INS Arihant: India's nuclear submarine

AboutWhat is INS Arihant?

INS Arihant is an indigenously developed nuclear submarine which was conceptualized in 1970.

The project's design and technology was finalized by 1984 and the work for construction of the submarine started in 1998.

The development of the submarine has involved private sector companies, including L&T.

The submarine is armed with 12 short range K-15 missiles (700 km) or 4 K-4 ballistic missiles (3,500 km).

Russian assistance in nuclear reactors

INS Arihant is powered by 83 MW Pressurized Light Water Reactor which uses enriched Uranium fuel. Russia has provided assistance to Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in miniaturizing the reactor to fit it into the hull of the submarine.
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26 Jul 2009INS Arihant introduced to the public

INS Arihant was first introduced to the public in 2009 by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at a symbolic launch ceremony.

The launch coincided with the 10th anniversary of the conclusion of the Kargil War.

However, at that time, the vessel did not possess surveillance equipment or the nuclear reactor which powers the submarine.

Officials hailed the project as an example of successful PPP collaboration.

10 Aug 2013INS Arihant's nuclear reactor achieves criticality

INS Arihant's reactor successfully achieved criticality in 2013 (the nuclear reactor becomes self-sustaining and starts producing the energy necessary for propelling the submarine).

The nuclear-powered reactor in the submarine gives it the advantage of allowing it to stay underwater for longer duration.

Conventional submarines had to surface frequently because they were operated by electrical batteries and hence, could remain submerged only for few days.

ComparisonNuclear submarines vs conventional submarines

Unlike conventional submarines, a nuclear submarine can stay underwater for a much longer duration and need to resurface only for stocking of consumables such as food.

Nuclear submarines can also dive much deeper and can stay in water, undetected by enemy nations.

Further, they can operate at higher speeds for much longer duration than conventional submarines.

23 Feb 2016INS Arihant ready for operations

India's first nuclear-propelled submarine successfully underwent deep sea driving drills and weapon tests and was ready for induction in the Indian Navy.

According to senior officials, "It has passed all tests and in many things has surpassed our expectations. Technically the submarine can now be commissioned at any time."

It would help the Indian Navy's long term plan of turning into a blue-water navy.

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19 Apr 2016Nuclear propelled INS Arihant to be commissioned soon

Arihant to complete India's nuclear triad

The induction of INS Arihant will help India achieve nuclear triad capability (ability to fire nuclear missiles from land, air and sea). Only the US and Russia are considered full-fledged nuclear triad powers as the capabilities of China are largely untested.

18 Oct 2016Arihant's commissioning seals India's triad capabilities

Sources stated that India completed the commissioning of the indigenous INS Arihant nuclear submarine in August and it has been operational since then.

The commissioning signals the completion of India's nuclear triad capability, the ability to launch a nuclear attack from the land, sea and air.

Sources however added that the vessel is not ready for deterrent patrols yet.