India’s first nuclear armed submarine, INS Arihant, is all set for full-fledged operations and is awaiting a formal induction in the fleet.
The indigenously designed submarine, based on the Russian Project 971 Akula I-class nuclear powered attack boats, has passed all weapon launch and deep sea diving tests off Vishakhapatnam where it was build.
A Russian diving support ship, the RFS Epron, had accompanied the Arihant on its deep sea dives and launch tests.
INS Arihant carries K 15 (or BO-5) short range missiles that has a range of over 700 km. The submarine is also equipped with K 4 ballistic missile with a range of 3,500 km.
A communication facility to interact with the submarine has already been commissioned into the Navy. At the moment, Indian Navy is also working on building two more INS Arihant type submarines at the Ship Building Center (SBC) in Vishakhapatnam.
The Indian navy wants to build at least six SSNs in India that could cost more than Rs 90,000 crore.
India already began construction of INS Aridhaman, the second vessel of the Arihant-class, this year.
India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) is also working on the K-4, an intermediate-range nuclear-capable submarine-launched ballistic missile, with a rage of up to 3,500 km and is currently undergoing testing.
India is the only nation in the Indian Ocean Region to have a nuclear submarine and the sixth in the world to have the capability to design and construct a nuclear submarine.
The Indian navy is also speeding up work on INS Varsha, which is a strategic naval base with underground pens on the Eastern Coast near Kakinada – where the nuclear assets would be based. At present, the only nuclear powered platform in service is the INS Chakra, an Akula class SSN on lease from Russia.