Hyderabad: After eleven years of construction, since cutting the first steel on the project, a sophisticated piece of defence engineering equipment slipped into the waters flooded into a dry dock at Vishakhapatnam's Matsya base, headquarters of the Indian Navy's Eastern Naval Command. (See: Indian indigenous nuclear sub to be unveiled on 26 July: report)
Prime minster Manmohan Singh's wife Gursharan Kaur broke the auspicious coconut on the hull of the country's first indigenously constructed nuclear powered submarine. The submarine, launched Sunday, is named INS Arihant (destroyer of an enemy).
|Smt. Gursharan Kaur, wife of the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh breaking the auspicious coconut on the hull of the 6,000 tonne submarine, INS Arihant marking its launch, at Visakhapatnam |
The project itself was launched in 1984, with infrastructure being painstakingly created from scratch. A nuclear submarine project is universally acknowledged as the most sophisticated piece of engineering activity in the world Ėat par with building a space station or a shuttle.
While the line up of dignitaries included the prime minister, his wife Gursharan Kaur, defence minister AK Antony, chief of naval staff Sureesh Mehta, chief of the DRDO M Natarajan, and the Andhra Pradesh chief minister YR Reddy, also present on the occasion were Russia's outgoing ambassador, Vyacheslav Trubnikov, and a large delegation from Rubin's Design Bureau, which had a important influence on the project.
The original cadre of Indian Navy staff meant to design the submarine were trained at Rubin.
Others present on the occasion were union ministers of state for defence MM Pallam Raju, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, Anil Kakodkar, the national security adviser MK Narayanan, principal scientific adviser R Chidambaram, and several retired and serving top naval officers.