In a major step towards completing its nuclear triad, the atomic reactor on-board the indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant was activated late Friday night and the submarine is on its own power now. The submarine will soon be launched to sea on the Eastern coast for extensive sea trials
DRDO has also readied a medium-range nuclear missile BO-5 for being deployed on the Arihant and its last developmental trial was held on January 27 off the coast of Vishakhapatnam.
INS Arihant, till now, was being tested in the harbor on shore-based, high-pressure steam. With the reactor going critical now, the submarine will eventually head for open waters for extensive "sea- acceptance trials", which will include firing of its 750-km range K-15 ballistic missiles.
INS Arihant at launch ceremony ( Image Courtesy - pacificsentinel.blogspot.com.au )
The sea trials will take at least another 18 months before INS Arihant can become fully operational. It will be the first ballistic missile submarine to have been built outside the five recognized nuclear powers — the United States, France, Russia, Britain and China.
Sections of a second submarine, to be named Aridaman are already at an advanced stage of outfitting at the Ship Building Centre (SBC). Sources indicate Aridaman could be launched by next year. Sections of a third submarine are also under construction at the Larsen & Toubro's Hazira facility. The three SSBNs have been under construction under a secret navy-DRDO-Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) project called the 'Advanced Technology Vessel' (ATV) project.
India's strategic plans call for a fleet of five nuclear powered attack submarines (SSN) and five ballistic missile submarines (SSBN).
News Courtesy - hindustantimesc.om and indiatoday.intoday.in