INS Arihant, India’s first nuclear armed submarine is now ready to serve in full extend. The Arihant, which is the first of five nuclear missile submarines or SSBNs planned for induction, has also undergone deep sea dives off Vishakhapatnam where it was build. The ship passed several deep sea diving drills as well as weapons launch tests over the past five months. Only a formal induction into the naval fleet is left.
Officials closely associated with the project have confirmed that the indigenously-built boat is now fully-operational and over the past few months, several weapon tests have taken place in secrecy that has proven the capabilities of the vessel.
RFS Epron a Russian diving support ship has been accompanying the Arihant on its deep sea dives and launch tests. The Arihant did not take part in the IFR even though it was ready due to security concerns. The presence of 24 foreign warships, equipped with sensors and equipment that could pick up vital electronic intelligence being the main damper.
The Navy has managed to keep under wraps several weapon launch tests from the Arihant over the past five months. The submarine is to be equipped with K 15 (or BO-5) short-range missiles with a range of over 700 km and the K 4 ballistic missile with a range of 3,500 km.
Two more Arihant class submarines are building at the Ship Building Center (SBC) in Vishakhapatnam which will be larger and more advanced than the first boat. A new strategic naval base with underground pens on the Eastern Coast near Kakinada – is going to commission in near future where the nuclear assets would be based. It will be named as INS varsha