INS Arihant

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India's Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV)
INS Arihant during sea trials, December 2014
Name: INS Arihant
Builder: Shipbuilding Centre (SBC), Visakhapatnam, India
Launched: 26 July 2009
Acquired: 13 December 2014
Commissioned: 2016 (expected)[1]
Homeport: Visakhapatnam
Status: Awaiting Commissioning [1]
General characteristics
Class and type: Arihant-class ballistic missile submarine
Displacement: surface: 6,000 tonne (estimated) [2]
Length: 111 m (364 ft)[3]
Beam: 15 m (49 ft)[3]
Draft: 11 m (36 ft)[3]
Installed power: 83 MW (111,305 hp)
Propulsion: PWR using 40% enriched uranium fuel (83 MWe);[3] 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)[4]
Complement: 95–100 officers and men
Sensors and
processing systems:
USHUS sonar

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.[5][6] The 6,000 tonne vessel was built under the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project at the Ship Building Centre in the port city of Visakhapatnam.

Arihant was launched on 26 July 2009, the anniversary of Vijay Diwas (Kargil War Victory Day) by the then Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh. After fitting out and extensive sea trials, on 23 February 2016, she was confirmed as ready for operations.[7][1]


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 based on the Akula-class submarine.[8] Their crew will have the opportunity to train on INS Chakra, an Akula-class submarine, which the Indian Navy leased from Russia.[9][10] Arihant will be more of "a technology demonstrator", rather than a fully operational SSBN according to Admiral Nirmal Verma.[11]

The vessel will be powered by an 83 megawatts (111,305 hp) pressurised light-water reactor[12] with enriched uranium fuel.[13] 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.[14][15] It was reported that an 80 MW nuclear reactor was integrated into the hull of the ATV in January 2008.[16]

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.[17] The consultancy for this project was provided by Russia.[18] Russia was also reported to have provided assistance to BARC scientists in miniaturising the reactor to fit into the hull of the nuclear submarine[19]


Conceptual drawing of INS Arihant

Arihant has four vertical launch tubes, which can carry 12 (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.[20][21][22]


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.[23] The launch coincided with the 10th anniversary of the conclusion of the Kargil War.[24] and consisted of floating the vessel by flooding the dry dock. Defence 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.[25] Photography was prohibited and photos showing the complete vessel are not available.[26][27] 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 symbolises the close strategic partnership that we enjoy with Russia".[28] 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.

Development phases[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.[29] 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.[30]

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.[31] On 27 January 2013, Sagarika, the primary armament of Arihant, completed its final developmental test and will now be integrated with the submarine.[32] On 10 August 2013, the nuclear reactor of the submarine went critical;[12] this was done after several months of system checks using shore-based high-pressure steam.[12][33] The reactor's power was raised in increments of 5 to 10% until it reached full power.

Current status[edit]

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 trials.[34][35][36][37] 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 first quarter of 2016.[38][39]

On 25 November 2015, a dummy or unarmed Sagarika missile was successfully test fired from Arihant.[40] The submarine then underwent further extensive sea trials, which were completed by early February 2016. Though it had initially been expected Arihant would be commissioned in time to participate in the International Fleet Review 2016, her participation was subsequently ruled out due to security concerns. On 23 February, Arihant was officially confirmed as ready for operations.[1]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "India's first nuclear submarine INS Arihant ready or operations, passes deep sea tests - The Economic Times". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2016-02-23. 
  2. ^ "India to Construct Two More Arihant Nuclear Submarines for Navy". DefenceNow. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d Subramanian, T.S. (15 August 2009). "Nuclear Arm". The Frontline. Vol. 26 no. 17. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
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  8. ^ "SSBN Arihant Class Submarine, India". Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  9. ^ "Arihant – Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV)". Global Security. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  10. ^ "Leased Russian n-submarine to set sail for India this month end". indiatoday. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  11. ^ Pandit, Rajat (3 December 2009). "Home-made nuke sub INS Arihant to be inducted in 2 years". The Times of India. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  12. ^ a b c Pandit, Rajat (10 August 2013). "Reactor of India's first indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant goes 'critical'". The Times of India. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  13. ^ Pandit, Rajat (17 July 2009). "India set to launch nuclear-powered submarine". The Times of India. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  14. ^ Subramanian, T.S. (2 August 2009). "PWR building shows indigenous capability, says Kakodkar". The Hindu (Chennai, India). Archived from the original on 8 August 2009. Retrieved 2 August 2009. 
  15. ^ Venkatesh, MR (2 August 2009). "Arihant propulsion reactor unveiled". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  16. ^ "The secret undersea weapon". indiatoday. 17 January 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  17. ^ Joseph, Josy (27 July 2009). "Private sector played a major role in Arihant – India – DNA". Daily News and Analysis. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  18. ^ Bagla, Pallava (3 August 2009). "Russians helped with INS Arihant's heart: Kakodkar". NDTV. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  19. ^ Malhotra, Jyoti (12 August 2013). "How India's pride INS Arihant was built". Business Standard. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  20. ^ Subramanian, T.S. (8 May 2014). "Success on debut for undersea launch of missile". The Hindu. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  21. ^ "India tests new underwater nuclear missile". The Times of India. 26 March 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  22. ^ Thapar, Vishal (10 May 2014). "India tests 3,000 km range n-missile in secret". The Sunday Guardian. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  23. ^ "Wife of Indian PM launches home-made nuclear attack submarine". Xinhuanet. 26 July 2009. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  24. ^ Unnithan, Sandeep (16 July 2009). "Exclusive: PM's wife to launch INS Arihant, India's first nuclear submarine". indiatoday. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  25. ^ "India inducts nuke submarine into navy". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 26 July 2009. Archived from the original on 29 July 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2009. 
  26. ^ "PIB's Latest Photograph". Archived from the original on 4 August 2009. Retrieved 17 August 2009. 
  27. ^ "PIB's Latest Photograph". Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2009. 
  28. ^ Singh, Harmeet Shah (26 July 2009). "India launches nuclear submarine". CNN. Retrieved 17 August 2009. 
  29. ^ Jayaraman, KS (13 August 2009). "India's Nuclear Sub Doesn't Have Working Reactor Yet". Daiji World. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  30. ^ Von Kospoth, Nicolas (28 July 2009). "India's INS Arihant Makes First Contact with Water". Defense Professionals Daily. Archived from the original on 5 September 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2009. 
  31. ^ "India's first home-built nuclear submarine INS Arihant set for trials". 7 August 2012. [dead link]
  32. ^ Mallikarjun, Y.; Subramanian, T. S. (27 January 2013). "India successfully test-fires underwater missile". The Hindu (Chennai, India). Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  33. ^ "Arihant achieves criticality when the boat was "already in the sea"". Jagran Josh. 11 August 2013. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  34. ^ "India's nuclear submarine Arihant flagged off for sea trials". Economic Times. 13 December 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  35. ^ Subrahmanyam, G.S. (13 December 2014). "INS Arihant sails out of harbour". The Hindu. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  36. ^ "India's first nuclear-powered Submarine INS Arihant will head out for sea trials by Year-end". IANS. 2 November 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  37. ^ "Agni-5, INS Arihant to be ready for induction next year". 7 February 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  38. ^ Ojha, Anjali (2 November 2014). "Indigenous nuclear-armed submarine INS Arihant's sea trials by year-end". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  39. ^ Ojha, Anjali (18 October 2015). "Indian Navy keen on fielding indigenous nuclear-powered submarine at international fleet review". The Economic Times. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  40. ^ Luthra, Gulshan (26 November 2015). "Nuclear capable Arihant submarine successfully test-fires unarmed missile". The Economic Times. Retrieved 26 November 2015. 

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