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First Indigenous Nuclear Submarine INS Arihant Inducted in Indian Navy
Oct 26, 2016

The Indian Navy is reported to have secretly commissioned into service nuclear submarine INS Arihant. The defence ministry and the navy did not confirm or deny reports that the submarine was inducted in August this year to complete the nuclear weapons triad that gives India capability to launch nukes from land, air and sea.

  • INS Arihant is India’s first indigenous nuclear submarine, and the lead ship of the Arihant-class of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, which was launched in 2009 and is based on the Russian Akula-1 class submarine.

Key Features

  • Arihant is a 6,000 tonne nuclear propelled submarine.
  • It is a SSBN (Ship Submersible Ballistic, Nuclear Submarine), or a submarine that can carry ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads.
  • Its design is based on the Russian Akula-1 class submarines and its 83mw pressurised water reactor has been built with significant Russian assistance.
  • On July 26, 2009, on Vijay Diwas, the anniversary day of Kargil War victory, Arihant was launched into the water at the ship-building centre in Visakhapatnam.
  • In 2013, the nuclear reactor of the submarine went 'critical'.
  • The sea trials started in December 2014. It was declared fit for operations in February 2016, and quietly inducted in the Indian Navy later.
  • In April, the submarine test fired nuclear capable ballistic missile K-4. The missile is named after former President and scientist A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
  • Arihant has four vertical launch tubes, which can carry 12 K-15 missiles or four larger K-4 missiles.
  • It completes India's nuclear triad—capability of firing nuclear weapons from land, air and sea.
  • India currently operates Russian-origin nuclear-powered submarine INS Chakra, which it leased for 10 years from Russia in 2012.
  • Nuclear submarines have the capability to stay out in sea for longer, and don’t need to surface for a long duration.

It is part of Indian Navy's secretive Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project, under the supervision the Prime Minister's Office and involving agencies and establishments such as the DRDO, the Department of Atomic Energy, the Submarine Design Group of the Directorate of Naval Design, besides companies such as L&T.

Its 100-member crew has been trained by Russian specialists, and Indian scientists at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre have received significant expertise in reducing the size of the reactor to help it fit into the 10-metre diameter hull of the nuclear submarine.


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