INS Arihant

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India's Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV)
INS Arihant during its launch in 2009
Career (India)
Name: INS Arihant
Builder: Shipbuilding Centre (SBC), Visakhapatnam, India
Launched: 26 July 2009
Commissioned: Last quarter of 2015 (expected)
Homeport: Vishakapatnam
Status: Harbour trials completed, Sea trials started in Dec 2014
General characteristics
Class and type: Arihant-class submarine
Type: SSBN
Displacement: 6000 Tonnes
Length: 111 m (364 ft)[1]
Beam: 15 m (49 ft)[1]
Draft: 11 m (36 ft)[1]
Installed power: 83 MW
Propulsion: PWR using 40% enriched uranium fuel (83 MWe);[1] one turbine (47,000 hp/70 MW); one shaft; one 7-bladed, high-skew propeller (estimated)
Range: unlimited except by food supplies
Test depth: 350 m (1,150 ft) (estimated)[2]
Complement: 95–100 officers and men
Sensors and
processing systems:
USHUS sonar
Armament: 6 x 533mm torpedoes
12 x K-15 Sagarika SLBM
4 x K-4

INS Arihant (Sanskrit: अरिहंत, meaning "Slayer of Enemies" (S-73)) is the lead ship of India's Arihant class of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines. The 6,000 tonne vessel was built under the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project at the Ship Building Centre in Visakhapatnam.

The symbolic launch ceremony for Arihant was held on 25 July 2009, the anniversary of Vijay Diwas (Kargil War Victory Day). The completion of INS Arihant will make India one of six countries in the world with the ability to design, build, and operate its own nuclear submarines.


INS Arihant is to be the first of the expected five in the class of submarines designed and constructed as a part of the Indian Navy's secretive Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project. The Arihant-class submarines are reported to be comparable to the Akula-class submarine.[3] Their crew will have the opportunity to train on INS Chakra, an Akula-class submarine, which the Indian Navy leased from Russia.[4][5] Arihant will be more of "a technology demonstrator", rather than a fully operational SSBN according to Admiral Nirmal Verma.[6]

The vessel will be powered by an 83 MW pressurised light-water reactor[7] with enriched uranium fuel.[8] A land-based prototype of the reactor was first built at Kalpakkam and made operational in September 2006. Successful operation over a period of three years yielded the data that enabled the production version for Arihant.[9][10] It was reported that an 80 MW nuclear reactor was integrated into the hull of the ATV in January 2008.[11]

The hull for the vessel was built by L&T's Hazira shipbuilding facility. Tata Power built the control systems for the submarine. The systems for the steam turbine integrated with the reactor are supplied by Walchandnagar Industries.[12] The consultancy for this project was provided by Russians.[13] Russians are also reported to have provided assistance to BARC scientists in miniaturising the reactor to fit into the hull of the nuclear submarine[14]


Conceptual drawing of INS Arihant

Arihant has four vertical launch tubes, which can carry twelve (three per launch tube) smaller K-15 missiles or four larger K-4 missiles. The K-4 has a longer range of 3,500 km (2,200 mi) and has commenced trials.[15][16][17]


INS Arihant was introduced to the public on 26 July 2009 at a symbolic launch ceremony by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's wife Gursharan Kaur.[18] The launch coincided with the tenth anniversary of the conclusion of the Kargil War.[19] and consisted of floating the vessel by flooding the dry dock. Defense Professionals Daily claimed Arihant was launched without key systems including its nuclear reactor, surveillance equipment, and ordnance. Per naval tradition, Gursharan Kaur cracked a coconut on the hull to mark the launch of the submarine at the secret naval base 'Matsya' in Visakhapatnam.[20] Photography was prohibited and photos showing the complete vessel are not available.[21][22] In his address to the crowd, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh billed the submarine as an outcome of a public-private partnership. He also thanked Russia in his address stating "I would also like to express our appreciation to our Russian friends for their consistent and invaluable cooperation, which symbolizes the close strategic partnership that we enjoy with Russia".[23] The launch of Arihant strengthens India's endeavour to build a credible nuclear triad – the capability to fire nuclear weapons from air, land and sea.

Current status[edit]

On the condition of anonymity, a nuclear scientist familiar with the project echoed this report in response to the media coverage that India had successfully launched a completed nuclear submarine.[24] It was also expected that the duplication of India's land based reactor, integration of systems, and sea trials are expected to take three to five years.[25]

Admiral Verma told reporters on 7 August 2012 that sea trials of Arihant are commencing in coming months and she is steadily progressing towards operationalisation.[26] On 27 January 2013, Sagarika, the primary armament of Arihant, completed its final developmental test and will now be integrated with the submarine.[27] On 10 August 2013, the nuclear reactor of the submarine went critical;[7] this was done after several months of system checks using shore-based high-pressure steam. It is now still in sea trials.[7][28] The reactor's power was raised in increments of 5 to 10% until it reached full power.

On 13 December 2014, Arihant emerged partially submerged from the breakwaters of the Visakhapatnam harbour, marking a step in validation of indigenous technologies and sailed north along the Bay of Bengal coast off for its extensive sea trails.[29][30][31][32] The sea trials will include the firing of the indigenous submarine-launched ballistic missiles & cruise missiles. While its 100-member crew have been trained by Russian specialists, Indian scientists at Mumbai's Bhabha Atomic Research Centre have developed a significant expertise in reducing the size of the reactor to help it fit into the 10 metres (33 ft) diameter hull of the submarine. As per Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, the sea trials of INS Arihant will last for 8 to 10 months, before its induction and commissioning into the Indian Navy in the last quarter of 2015.[33]


The name of the vessel, Arihant, from Sanskrit meaning the destroyer of all enemies has drawn some criticism. The word Arihant (Jainism) or Arahant (Buddhism) has been a title of respect for over two thousand years to refer to one who has eliminated all internal enemies, such as pride, anger, violence, attachment and other qualities considered undesirable by Buddhists. Supreme Jain beings who have reached Moksha and were part of the 24 Thirthankars in an era is called an Arihant. He is a teacher of faith.[34]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Nuclear Arm by T. S. Subramanian, The Frontline, Vol. 26, Issue 17, 15–28 August 2009.
  2. ^
  3. ^ SSBN Arihant Class Submarine, India:
  4. ^ "Arihant – Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV)". Global Security. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "Leased Russian n-submarine to set sail for India this month end". 15 December 2011. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  6. ^ Pandit, Rajat (3 December 2009). "Home-made nuke sub INS Arihant to be inducted in 2 years". The Times of India. Retrieved 4 December 2009. 
  7. ^ a b c Reactor of India's first indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant goes 'critical' Times of India 10 August 2013
  8. ^ Pandit, Rajat (17 July 2009). "India set to launch nuclear-powered submarine". The Times of India. 
  9. ^ "PWR building shows indigenous capability, says Kakodkar". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 2 August 2009. Retrieved 2 August 2009.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  10. ^ "Arihant propulsion reactor unveiled". Hindustan Times. 2 August 2009. Retrieved 2 August 2009.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  11. ^ "The secret undersea weapon : DEFENCE News – India Today". India Today. 17 January 2008. Retrieved 29 December 2011. 
  12. ^ "Private sector played a major role in Arihant – India – DNA". Daily News and Analysis. 27 July 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2011. 
  13. ^ "Russians helped with INS Arihant's heart: Kakodkar". NDTV. 3 August 2009. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  14. ^ "How India's pride INS Arihant was built". Business Standard. 12 August 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  15. ^ "Success on debut for undersea launch of missile". The Hindu. 8 May 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  16. ^ "India tests new underwater nuclear missile". The Times of India. 26 March 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  17. ^ "India tests 3,000 km range n-missile in secret". The Sunday Guardian. 10 May 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  18. ^ "Wife of Indian PM launches home-made nuclear attack submarine". Xinhuanet. 26 July 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2009. 
  19. ^ Unnithan, Sandeep (16 July 2009). Exclusive: PM's wife to launch INS Arihant, India's first nuclear submarine. India Today
  20. ^ "India inducts nuke submarine into navy". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 26 July 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2009. 
  21. ^ "PIB's Latest Photograph". Retrieved 17 August 2009. 
  22. ^ "PIB's Latest Photograph". Retrieved 17 August 2009. 
  23. ^ Harmeet Shah Singh CNN (26 July 2009). "India launches nuclear submarine". CNN. Retrieved 17 August 2009. 
  24. ^ "India's Nuclear Sub Doesn't Have Working Reactor Yet". Daiji World. 13 August 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2009. 
  25. ^ Von Kospoth, Nicolas (28 July 2009). "India's INS Arihant Makes First Contact with Water". Defense Professionals Daily. Retrieved 10 September 2009. 
  26. ^ "India's first home-built nuclear submarine INS Arihant set for trials". 7 August 2012. [dead link]
  27. ^ Mallikarjun, Y.; Subramanian, T. S. (27 January 2013). "India successfully test-fires underwater missile". The Hindu (Chennai, India). Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  28. ^ Arihant achieves criticality when the boat was "already in the sea" Jagran Josh. Retrieved 12 August 2013
  29. ^ "India's nuclear submarine Arihant flagged off for sea trials". Economic Times. 13 December 2014. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  30. ^ "INS Arihant sails out of harbour". The Hindu. 13 December 2014. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  31. ^ "India’s first nuclear-powered Submarine INS Arihant will head out for sea trials by Year-end". IANS. 2 November 2014. 
  32. ^
  33. ^ {|Anjali Ojha IANS |url= |title=Indigenous nuclear-armed submarine INS Arihant's sea trials by year-end||The Economic Times| |Date: 2 November 2014|}
  34. ^ Concern and displeasure over the name - Jain Muni Shri Tarun Sagarji Maharaj