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New Indian Boomer Starts Sea Trials

Indian Navy nuclear ballistic missile submarine INS Arihant on Monday. via The Hindu Times

Indian Navy nuclear ballistic missile submarine INS Arihant on Monday. via The Hindu Times

India’s first domestically built nuclear ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) started sea trials on Monday, according to local press reports.

The 6,500-ton Arihant left the harbor at Visakhapatnam, on India’s eastern shore, following a year and a half of tests closer to shore and is a first for the Indian shipbuilding base in developing a domestic ability to construct nuclear submarine.

However, the submarine maybe more a test and development platform than an operational boomer.

“While it is good news that Arihant has embarked on sea trials, it still has a long way to go before it proves itself as a competent SSBN. It could well end up as a technology demonstrator,” retired Indian Navy Chief Admiral Arun Parkash told Jane’s Defence Weekly on Monday.
“Even if it does not end up on deterrence patrol as its design and noise levels will have to be carefully evaluated, Arihant can be a useful learning experience for the navy’s future SSBNs.”

INS Arihant in 2009. Indian Navy Photo

INS Arihant in 2009. Indian Navy Photo

Arihant is based on the Russian Navy’s Akula-class design and can field 12 Sagarika submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) with nuclear warheads. The missiles are capable of a range of about 435 miles.

The class has been under development for decades under a secretive program that has attempted since the 1970s to create a domestic Indian nuclear submarine, according to Naval Institute’s Combat Fleet’s of the World.

The Indian Navy does field nuclear submarines in a lease program with Moscow.

  • IAF101

    “Arihant is based on the Russian Navy’s Akula-class design”

    Considering that there are few pictures of the submarine in the public domain – this is a rather bold claim.

    Most Western analysts claim it is based on the old Charlie class Russian submarine that India leased for a spell in the 80s.

  • old guy

    The silhouette is AKULA-class, but is it of their sub or a stock photo? If it is, it is a great adjunct deterrent, for us.

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  • Waldez

    Somehow I would not feel comfortable being assigned to sail on that ship, but maybe it is staffed by the best of the Indian Navy and they are well compensated