Indigenous Nuclear Submarine Construction Programme Featured

  • Wednesday, Jan 22 2014

//By Rear Admiral LVS Babu, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff  (Submarine)//

          Indigenous construction and ‘first of class trials’ of a nuclear powered submarine poses unique technological challenges. After the launch of indigenous nuclear powered submarine, Arihant, on 26 Jul 09, we have made steady progress in our indigenous nuclear submarine construction programme. The submarine has undergone extensive harbour trials culminating in achieving criticality of her reactor on 10 Aug 13.

 Achieving first criticality of any nuclear reactor is in itself an exacting activity necessitating regulatory clearances at every stage. This is the first time we have achieved criticality of a ‘mobile reactor’ in India. The challenges with respect to development, construction and operationalisation were more severe and standards required to be met more exacting. Thus, on achieving this major landmark it is not only a proud moment for the BARC and Navy, but also for the whole country as it is a major step towards self reliance in a field which is upcoming in the country.

 The next milestone would be when Arihant puts to sea for her sea trails. It would be Navy’s efforts to provide every possible assistance and support during the conduct of these extensive ‘first of class’ trials.

 With the induction of nuclear attack submarine (SSN) INS Chakra, Indian Navy joined the group of six nations operating nuclear submarines. In the period of about one and half year Indian Navy has been honing its skill of integrating nuclear submarines across the entire spectrum of naval operations. Presently, a part of the crew comprises those who have been trained in India, thus indicating that Indian Navy has also attained self sufficiency in training personnel for operating such complex platforms besides operations and maintenance.

 India’s vast and diverse maritime interest and the security concerns in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) mandate us to take all measures to ‘build’ a strong and capable Navy. While our SSN, INS Chakra, would facilitate the Indian Navy in maintaining a strong stabilising and credible presence in the IOR, Arihant, our SSBN would provide us with the option for sea based strategic deterrence, the third leg of the triad. The maritime security dynamics in the IOR and our extended neighbourhood would dictate our overall plans to augment the Navy’s nuclear submarine fleet.

(Rear Admiral LVS Babu made these remarks while unveiling the Arihant Tableau for Rajpath Parade)      



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