INS Arihant Indian Navy | India as a nuclear Triad | Features | Facts

India commission INS Arihant in 2008, India completed the nuclear triad. A nuclear triad means the capability of a state to launch a nuclear offensive from air, land, and water (triad). 

The Indian Army has a nuclear arsenal of the ICBM category which ranges from Agni, Prithvi to Shaurya missiles. 

The Force uses Sukhoi-03 MKI, Jaguar, and Rafale (once inducted later) for carrying nuclear weapons. The Indian Navy has commissioned INS Arihant, designed on the Russian Akula-1 class model, called Shin Submersible Ballistic Nuclear (SSBN). India is the sixth country in the world (after permanent five members of the UNSC) to acquire the triad capability. 

By 2022, a fleet of four submarines named INS Arighat will join the fleet of Arihant.

All About Arihant

                              Ins Arihant

  • INS Arihant is India's🇮🇳 first nuclear-powered Submarine. 
  • The ship submersible ballistic nuclear (SSBN)  submarine was launched at the Indian🇮🇳 Navy's dockyard in Visakhapatanam which is the headquarters of India's Eastern naval command.
  • The name Arihant derives from two words- Ari means Enemy & hant means to destroy.

General characteristics INS Arihant 

●Crew- 95.                       
●Length- 110m
●Beam- 11m.                  
●Draught- 9m
●Maximum surface speed- 15kt.  
●Maximum dived speed-  24kt
●Diving depth - 300m  
●K15 missile - 12. 
●Torpedoes - 21 in tubes. 
●Sonar - ushus & panchendriya. 
●Types. - nuclear-pressurized water reactor.
 ●Steam turbine - 47,000  hp.  
●Weight - 6000t. 
●Cost - $2.9 billion.

Facts About INS Arihant

  •  It is the longest Submarine in the Indian Navy.
  • Arihant India's🇮🇳 first Indigenously built nuclear submarine.
  •  It was jointly developed by the Indian🇮🇳 Navy,  Bhabha atomic research center (BARC) &  Defence Research &  Development Organization ( DRDO) at the naval dockyard in Visakhapatanam.
  •  Russian:ru: designers assisted in building the vessels.   
  • The project earlier known as Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV), has been underdeveloped since 1998. construction five more unclear powered Submarine is also being planned.
  • The conventional diesel-electric submarine has to ascend to the surface each day to eject carbon dioxide produced by the generator.  
  • Nuclear-powered Submarine on the other hand can stay underwater for a long duration without being detected.  
  • The submarine exterior is uneven and the hull is present in a mat cover with tiles. 
  • Tiles help in absorbing sound waves and provide stealth capabilities to the submarine. 
  • Compared to conventional submarines Conning tower of Arihant is situated near the bow instead of the center.  
  • With these extraordinary capabilities, INS Arihant is an undefeatable warrior and the backbone of the Indian Navy.

However, there is a debate about the deterrence capability of INS Arihant. The government has not released any data, but as per various reports, there is a K-15 missile with a range of 750 km on board. If this is the case, then using it against China or Pakistan does not make sense as in such a short-range, it needs to be deployed very close to their waters, making SSBN a target. A report says that India is developing a 3,500-km-range K4 missile, but Arihant does not have the capability to carry it. 

India would need S4 and S-5 SSBN for K4 (3,500 km range) missile. The INS Arihant was developed by India in response to the Chinese nuclear-powered Jin-class (JL-2 missiles) submarines. They have been visiting the Indian Ocean on the pretext of anti-piracy operations, raising alarm bells in India. Arihant will now sharpen the competition between powers in the Indian Ocean. 

Pakistan will seek Chinese help to build submarines. Coupled with the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, the revival of the Quad of Democracies, will only affect regional strategic stability and engender security dilemma. In the complete absence of nuclear level confidence-building measures between India, China, and Pakistan, will only complicate the problem of strategic stability in the future.

It is important to remember that the INS Arihant has assured that India now possesses a second strike capability (as t is impregnable against adversaries missile attack) and its development and induction has successfully ensured that it has followed what it stated in its nuclear doctrine, that is, build a credible nuclear deterrent. 

It has finally ended the nuclear blackmail India is subjected to by its adversaries. The success of the induction of Arihant signifies Indian mastery of complex systems and procedures that are entailed in operating a sea leg of the triad. The triad is a testimony to the technological prowess of India.

Nuclear-powered submarine over Diesel-powered submarine

The main advantage of a nuclear-powered submarine, in contrast to a diesel-powered submarine, is that SSBN does not require battery charges and can operate underwater for a long period of time. If during a nuclear strike the adversary decapitates the air and land forces, then SSBN can be the opportunity of the last resort. 

The issue in Arihant is that the crew in the submarine is given the responsibility of the weapons on board with powers to launch them at a short notice if needed, which according to some weakens the civilian control of nuclear weapons in India. 

The Indian SSBN is designed with electronic switches called 'permissive action links, but still, the ambiguity remains. However, it is important to remember that India remains committed to a verifiable, global, non-discriminatory disarmament, and a nuclear-weapons-free world. But, till the time nuclear weapons remain in the world, India will continue to use its deterrent capabilities for 'credible deterrence.

 It is true that large military and nuclear capabilities cannot bequeath India with a tag of a 'Great Power', but a grand strategic vision that amalgamates military power with a doctrine of national security can advance its march towards such status certainly.

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