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India’s Second Indigenous Nuclear Submarine INS Aridhaman Ready for Launch

INS Aridhaman

INS Aridhaman

The Indian Navy is geared to drop its second nuclear-capable submarine INS Aridhaman into the open seas by October. This move will make India the first nation outside the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – Russia, US, UK, France, China – to commission its first homemade nuclear attack submarine.

Once launched, the boat will undergo extensive harbor trials and sea trials which are expected to last for 2 years and commissioning is expected sometime in 2019.

The launch is likely to be done by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in keeping with the tradition that a boat is launched by a woman. The first indigenous nuclear submarine, INS Arihant, was launched in 2009 by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s wife, Gursharan Kaur.

Being built under the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project at the Ship Building Centre in Visakhapatnam, the second boat, Aridhaman, will have double the number of missile hatches than its predecessor INS Arihant. It will also be powered by a more powerful reactor than INS Arihant’s 83 MW pressurized light-water reactor.

According to unconfirmed reports, INS Aridhaman will share same design but will have stretched center-line to accommodate more weapons and bigger nuclear reactor. It will also receive second generation upgrades to its communication and sonar suite.

Aridhaman will have a seven-blade propeller powered by a pressurized water reactor and can achieve speed up to 12-15 knots on surface and 24 knots under water. With eight vertical launch tubes it can carry up to 24 indigenously-developed K-15 (Sagarika) missiles or eight K-4 missiles. The K-15 has a range of 750 km while the K-4 has a range of 3,500 km. The K-4 missile was developed as the Agni-III missile could not be deployed on INS Arihant due to space constraints. Compared to INS Arihant, Aridhaman can carry twice as many missiles and is expected to cruise faster underwater as a result of a more powerful propulsion system.

Aridhaman’s hull was laid in 2011 in the coastal city of Visakhapatnam.