Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha
New Delhi: In a move that will pull India a step closer to achieving the “nuclear triad”, Indian Navy is all set to start sea trials for its first indigenously-built nuclear-powered submarine INS Arihant in few weeks, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff Rear Admiral LVS Babu said on Tuesday.
A miniature model of the prestigious subamrine will also be flaunted as a part of Indian Navy tableaux at the Republic Day Parade.
INS Arihant`s commissioning into the Indian Navy, which is expected till the end of the year, will gift India with the “nuclear triad”, that is the ability to retaliate to nuclear strikes from land, air and sea-based systems.
Sea trials for INS Arihant will be the next major milestone for the submarine, which went critical on August 10, when the nuclear reactor aboard it was activated.
The submarine has successfully completed its harbour acceptance trials and is now set to be taken into the sea, said Assistant Chief of Naval Staff Rear Admiral LVS Babu .
"INS Arihant will provide us with the option for sea-based strategic deterrence, the third leg of the triad," Assistant Chief of Navy Staff (Submarine) Rear Admiral L Sarat Babu told reporters.
India which maintains a `no first-strike` policy regarding the use of nuclear weapons, will be armed with a strong deterrence power and second strike capability by INS Arihant, which has stronger underwater endurance power and speed double that of the counterparts.
It can dive into depths and remain their for a longer time. Other submarines, which are now being operated by Indian Navy need frequent trips to the surface for charging of the batteries.
But the nucleasr submarine being powered by a nuclear reactor fares much better.
The submarine that cost Rs 15000 cr, has been manufactured at the naval dockyard in Visakhapatnam by collaborative efforts of the Indian Navy, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
Though 60% of the submarine`s body is indigenous, Russians too have assisted in designing it.
Last year, India became only the 5th country to have successfully developed its first submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), which will be tested from INS Arihant.
Other than India, four other countries US, Russia, France, China and the UK have the capability to launch submarine-based ballistic missile strikes.