India's first indigenous nuclear submarine, INS Arihant (annihilator of enemies), will be inducted into the Indioan Navy fleet in two years or so, Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma told reporters in New Delhi ahead of the Navy Day on Friday.
|Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma|
Arihant, the first submarine to be built under the advanced technology vessel (ATV) programme, was launched for sea trials on 26 July this year at the naval yard in Visakhapatnam by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's wife Gurcharan Kaur in the presence of the prime minister. (See: India launches indigenous nuke sub INS Arihant)
"Arihant demonstrates a quantum leap in the shipbuilding capabilities of the country. It is a nuclear-powered submarine which is indigenously designed and constructed," Admiral Verma said.
As India pursues the capacity to fire nuclear missiles from land, sea or air, the Navy now wants a well-balanced underwater strategic arm. This will include three SSBNs (nuclear-powered submarines with long-range strategic missiles) and six SSNs (nuclear-powered attack submarines) in the long-term.
The over 6,000-tonne INS Arihant will be more of `a technology demonstrator', rather than a fully-operational SSBN, for the subsequent follow-on nuclear submarines to follow.
But a fact glossed over in many reports is that the over 6,000-tonne INS Arihant will not be a fully-operational SSBN – it will be more of `a technology demonstrator' for the nuclear submarines to follow.