Back in Time is ED’s newspaper-like column that reports the past as though it had happened just yesterday. It allows the reader to relive it several years later, on the date it occurred.
26th July 2009:
In a momentous event, India achieved a historic milestone by symbolically launching its indigenously developed nuclear-powered submarine, INS Arihant. The ceremony, which took place at the Visakhapatnam Naval base in Andhra Pradesh, was filled with great anticipation and national pride.
With this achievement, India proudly became the sixth nation in the world to launch a nuclear-powered submarine, joining the elite ranks alongside the US, Russia, France, the UK, and China.
The symbolic launch coincided with Vijay Diwas, commemorating India’s triumph in the Kargil War with Pakistan in 1999. The date holds profound significance, highlighting India’s unwavering commitment to enhancing its security and strategic capabilities.
The event was held in strict confidentiality, prohibiting photography to maintain security. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s wife, Gursharan Kaur, graced the occasion as the submarine floated in the dock.
In his address to the gathering, Prime Minister Singh expressed his delight at the successful public-private partnership that led to the development of INS Arihant. He also conveyed heartfelt gratitude to Russia for its invaluable support throughout the project.
Amidst cheers, Gursharan Kaur cracked a coconut on the hull of INS Arihant, adhering to naval traditions, as the submarine was floated by flooding the dry dock. Although the complete vessel was kept from public view, the event was a proud moment, showcasing India’s dedication to bolstering defense capabilities and safeguarding regional security.
Following the symbolic launch, INS Arihant will undergo meticulous outfitting and a series of extensive sea trials to ensure its operational readiness. Once fully commissioned into the Indian Navy, the submarine will bolster India’s deterrence capabilities and contribute significantly to the country’s nuclear triad.
This achievement marked India’s formal entry into the elite group of countries possessing nuclear-powered submarines and underlines its status as a responsible nuclear-armed nation.
According to the sources, the Arihant-class submarines are powered by a state-of-the-art pressurised water reactor and are designed to carry nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles, providing India with a credible second-strike capability.
As INS Arihant advances towards full operational readiness, India embraces a new era of maritime strength, solidifying its position as a responsible nuclear-armed nation. This achievement underscores India’s commitment to maintaining peace and security in the region, leaving an indelible mark in the nation’s memory for generations to come.
INS Arihant was commissioned into the Indian Navy in August 2016. After extensive sea trials and operational readiness testing, it was officially deployed for operational patrols in 2018. The submarine’s induction significantly bolstered India’s maritime capabilities and added to its strategic deterrence posture.
The success of INS Arihant, India’s first indigenously built nuclear-powered submarine, paved the way for the development of follow-on submarines belonging to the Arihant class. Building on the technological achievements and experience gained during the construction of INS Arihant, the Indian Navy initiated the development of three more submarines: INS Arighat, INS Arindhaman, and INS Arighat.
These submarines are part of India’s strategic plan to bolster its naval capabilities and establish a formidable nuclear triad, capable of launching nuclear missiles from air, land, and sea.
Each submarine in the Arihant class represents a significant leap in India’s indigenous defense capabilities. They are designed to operate silently underwater, making it challenging for potential adversaries to detect their presence.
The submarines are powered by nuclear reactors, allowing for extended underwater endurance and stealthy patrols. This enhanced stealth and endurance ensure that the submarines can effectively operate in various strategic regions and fulfill their role as an integral part of India’s nuclear deterrence strategy.
With the commissioning of follow-on submarines of the Arihant class, India continues to reinforce its position as a responsible nuclear-armed nation with a credible second-strike capability. These submarines play a crucial role in bolstering India’s maritime security, safeguarding national interests, and contributing to regional stability.
As the development progresses, India’s defense establishment looks forward to deploying these submarines to further fortify its naval prowess and strategic deterrence capabilities.
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