Another milestone was achieved when the miniaturised nuclear reactor on board the submarine went “critical” in August last year.
INS Arihant can also carry and nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles while submerged. It is classified as a Ship Submersible Ballistic Nuclear (SSBN). India plans to have five such home-built SSBNs over the next seven years.
The Indian Navy currently operates a Russian nuclear submarine called the INS Chakra that has been leased from the Russians for a ten-year period, for training its personnel before the INS Arihant is inducted into the force.