India’s Best Kept Secret Is An Advanced Nuclear Submarine: Here’s What We Know About INS Arihant

Arihant Structure

UN data they tell us There are just under 200 countries in the world. This information may not surprise anyone, since we live on a huge planet with a diameter of 12,742 km. When we talk about defenseHowever, the scenario changes completely. There are currently around a dozen countries with nuclear weapons, and the list narrows even further without focusing specifically on those with nuclear-powered submarines.

These are the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China and India. All these nations, to a greater or lesser extent, are part of a select group with ships capable of moving on the surface and under water with all the advantages that nuclear technology offers. Among them, we can collect some that highlights the US Naval Institute: extreme stealth to go unnoticed by other types of ships and hide in the depths, high speed and “unlimited” range.

India and its commitment to nuclear submarines

India has had its first nuclear submarine in service for several years. The project, however, is one of the best kept secrets of the Asian country. Instead of using it as a piece of state propaganda to show off the muscle of its armed forces to the world, India has decided to go the opposite way: the one with the stealth. There are no videos of the ship sailing at high speeds or close-ups of its sailors doing missile launch tests.

The information available on the submarine is extremely scarce, although over the years some details have been revealed that can help us gauge the characteristics and magnitude of the project. According to Naval Technology, the project is spun off from the Indian Navy’s Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV). This called for the construction of five Arihant-class strategic nuclear submarines based on the Soviet Akula-class ones.

Arihant-class submarine

The development process, which has been active since the late 1990s, has involved a wide variety of companies and state dependent entities. These include the Indian Navy, Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC), Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), Tata and some divisions of Larsen & Toubro (L&T), a technology, engineering, construction company and manufacturing.

In addition, it is known that India had significant assistance from Russia at the beginning of the project. The country led by Vladimir Putin collaborated not only in terms of the hull design, but also in key elements of the ship, such as the nuclear reactor. In this case, business standard accountscientists from Russia’s Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC) helped miniaturize the nuclear infrastructure so it could fit and function inside the submarine.

The NS Arihant was introduced in June 2009

The first example of the Arihant class of submarines, the INS Arihant (SSBN 80), was presented to the public June 26, 2009. India’s Prime Minister at the time, Manmohan Singh, said: “Today we join a select group of five nations that possess the capability to build a nuclear-powered submarine.” In his speech, he also expressed his gratitude to Russia for its “constant and invaluable cooperation, which symbolizes the close strategic partnership,” according to .

Arihant Launch

Gursharan Kaur, at the presentation ceremony of the INS Arihant

In accordance with naval tradition, the prime minister’s wife, Gursharan Kaur, broke a coconut on the hull of the submarine to make its launch official. Despite the fact that it was an official act, photographs and videos of the entire ship were prohibited. The commissioning of the first of five Arihants came later, in 2016, after completing a series of key tests, such as firing its nuclear reactor, testing weapons systems, training Marines and more.

Indian Prime Minister Arihant

Narendra Modi in a speech in front of the crew of the Arihant

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Receiving The Crew Of Ins Arihant

Narendra Modi in a speech in front of the crew of the Arihant

According to Times of India andDnIndiathis one has a reactor 83 MW light water cooled nuclear whose turbine was supplied by Walchandnagar Industries. It works with 40% enriched uranium. The system turns an 8-blade high-skew propeller and allows it to reach a speed of 24 knots submerged and 15 knots on the surface. It is estimated that it can dive to a maximum depth of 130 meters and carry between 95 and 100 crew members.

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missile launch test

At the armament level, the INS Arihant has four vertical launch tubes that can launch a total of 12 K-15 nuclear ballistic missiles with a range of 750 kilometers. It can also carry and launch up to four K4 missiles, which are larger, but are also nuclear capable and can hit targets up to 3,000 kilometers away. In addition, it is prepared to carry out conventional attacks with 21-inch torpedoes (it can carry up to six of these).

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The restraint in displaying the nuclear submarine has remained since its launch. A test launch of a K-15 missile was successfully completed in 2015, one of the key tests before its formal operational start. In 2018, it was announced that the modern vessel had made its first deterrence patrol 20 days before. At the time, the current Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, congratulated the crew of the submarine. At least two other Arihant-class units are believed to be under construction.

Images: Prime Minister’s Press Office (1, 2, 3) | chanakyathegreat | Ajbura

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