Nuclear capability boost: Submarine INS Arihant completes maiden patrol

Modi Arihant Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing the maiden patrol of the INS Arihant | Twitter handle of Narendra Modi

On the eve of Diwali, India made a major step in its underwater capability when the country's first ballistic missile nuclear submarine INS Arihant completed its maiden deterrence patrol in the Bay of Bengal. The announcement was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's office.

The Arihant submarine was launched in May 2009 by the then prime minister Manmohan Singh. And it was quietly commissioned in August 2016.

The Arihant has a 83MW pressurised light water reactor with enriched uranium.

A sea-based deterrent is considered the most survivable platform to launch a retaliatory nuclear strike.

Only five countries (P5) have a nuclear triad in place.

The Arihant is currently armed with the 750km-range K15 Sagarika nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles. In future, it will operate the 3,500km-range K4 intermediate range ballistic missiles.

Narendra Modi met on Monday the crew of the Arihant, which is designated a strategic strike nuclear submarine (SSBN).

"The submarine recently returned from its first deterrence patrol, completing the establishment of the country's survivable nuclear triad," an official said.

Stressing the significance of the successful deployment of INS Arihant for the completion of India's nuclear triad, Modi congratulated the crew and all involved in the achievement, which puts India among a handful of countries having the capability to design, construct and operate SSBNs.

"True to its name, INS Arihant will protect the 130 crore Indians from external threats and contribute to the atmosphere of peace in the region,” PM Modi said in his tweet.

Noting that the indigenous development of the SSBN and its operationalisation attest to the country's technological prowess and the synergy and coordination among all concerned, Modi thanked them for their dedication and commitment in realising this pioneering accomplishment that has enhanced immensely the country's security.

Modi commended the courage and commitment of India's soldiers and the talent and perseverance of its scientists, whose untiring efforts transformed the scientific achievement of nuclear tests into establishment of an immensely complex and credible nuclear triad and dispelled all doubts and questions about India's capability and resolve in this regard.

India has put in place a robust nuclear command and control structure, effective safety assurance architecture and strict political control under its Nuclear Command Authority.

It remains committed to the doctrine of credible minimum deterrence and no first use, as enshrined in the decision taken by the Cabinet Committee on Security in its meeting chaired by the then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on January 04, 2003.