August 10, 2012

Indian Navy Prepares SSBN Arihant for Trials

                                                                                Image source: Economic times

Domestically built Indian nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) INS Arihant is being prepared for sea trials, reports World Arms Trade Analytic Center referring to Agence France-Presse and Indian Navy command. According to Indian Navy Commander Admiral Nirmal Verma, INS Arihant gradually moves towards commissioning. Indian Navy plans to kick off sea trials of the sub in the next few months.

Arihant-class lead submarine was launched in July 2009 by the shipyard located at naval base Vishakhapatnam. The submarine is a result of Advanced Technology Vessel Program being implemented through recent 11 years.

As was earlier reported, the first nationally built sub is expected to join Indian Navy in 2013. In total, India plans to build 5 submarines of this class.

According to Indian Navy's concept, new SSBNs are to become the most credible deterrent. After commission of INS Arihant, India will reach the long-awaited goal and possess the whole nuclear triad (land, air, and submarine nuclear arms platforms).

According to unofficial reports, the submarine's length is 112-120 meter and displacement is up to 7,000 tons. She will be armed with 12 vertically-launched missiles (probably, K-15 Sagarika) and 533-mm torpedo tubes. The submarine will be powered by 85-MW nuclear reactor. Maximum submerged speed will be 24 knots. The crew is about 95 men.

In Apr 2012, Indian Navy received Project 971 nuclear-powered submarine INS Chakra leased from Russia. By this, India joined China, the US, Great Britain, and Russia in the elite club of nuclear submarine operators.

As for Admiral Nirmal Verma, national shipyards are currently building 43 warships.

First out of six Scorpene-class non-nuclear submarines is under construction and to join Indian Navy in 2015. Besides, in the next year Boeing will start delivery of new patrol aircraft P-8I Neptune.


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