INS Arihant – India joins an elite club

July 28, 2009Santosh No Comments »

India launched it’s first indigenously built nuclear-powered submarine named ‘INS Arihant’ (destroyer of enemy) this weekend. With this, India joins an elite clubof 5 nations comprising of the US, Russia, France, the UK and China,  which possess capabilities to build nuclear  submarines. INS Arihant has been built under the advanced technology vessels (ATV) programme at a cost of $2.9 billion at the naval dockyard in Visakhapatnam. The secret nuclear submarine project was started in the 1980s though it was envisioned by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 70s.

Some stats now.. The 6000 ton submarine is powered by an 85 megaWatts capacity nuclear reactor. It can acquire surface speeds of 22 to 28 kmph and submerged speed upto 44 kmph. It can carry a crew of 95 and will be armed with torpedoes and missiles including 12 ballistic missiles.

INS  Arihant can also be armed with cruise missiles including 700-km K-15 missile, capable of carrying nuclear weapons. With US, Russia and China already fielding 5,000-7,000 km range missiles, 700 km sounds pretty lame in comparison. But hey, you got to start somewhere right ?

There are concerns that this may trigger an arms race in the region and destabilize it. But lets face it, wasn’t that the concern when India developed it’s first nuclear capabilities few years ago? Besides, India believes in “no first strike” theory, which means India will only use nuclear weapons as a retaliatory measure against a first strike by the enemy, they won’t strike first. So as long as you are a good, peace-loving, god-fearing country and don’t attack India (for whatever reason), you have nothing to worry about !!


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