Indian navy's strike capabilities have been exemplified in public domain when reports in nation's leading journals on Tuesday suggested that the indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant was commissioned into service in August 2016.
INS Arihant gives second-strike capability to India, which has a clearly declared policy of "no first-use" of nuclear weapons. INS Arihant is India's first indigenous nuclear submarine, and the lead ship of Arihant class of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines launched in 2009.
Nuclear submarines have the capability to stay out at sea longer, and don't need to surface for a long duration.
By inducting the 6,000-tonne submarine into service, India has quietly completed its nuclear triad.
Let us look into the general characteristics of INS Arihant.
Class and type: Arihant-class ballistic missile submarine
Displacement: surface- 6,000 tonne
Length: 110 m
Beam: 11 m
Draft: 9 m
Installed power: 83 MW (111,305 hp)
Propulsion: PWR using 40% enriched uranium fuel (83 MWe); one turbine (47,000 hp/70 MW); one shaft; one 7-bladed, high-skew propeller (estimated)
Test depth: 350 m
Complement: 95–100 officers and men
Arihant will be capable of carrying all types of missiles and will have underwater ballistic missile launch capability. It will carry 12 K-15 SLBMs that can be launched even under ice caps.
Tested in 2008, the K-15 missiles are 10.4m long and have a diameter of 1m. The 6.3t missiles can carry a 5t nuclear warhead targeted 750km away.
The K-15 missiles, however, will be replaced later by the 3,500km range K-X missiles. Apart from the K-15s, the submarine will carry a range of anti-ship and land-attack cruise missiles and torpedoes. (Also Read in Hindi)