New Delhi: Moving a step closer towards completing its nuclear triad, indigenously-developed nuclear-powered submarine INS Arihant will begin sea trials in "some months from now" and start operational patrols by the end of 2012.
"I had said that we will do so in 2012 and by and large
we are on track. A firm date can be given only when we have
the sea trials which will happen from some months from now,"
Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma told a press conference here.
He was asked about Navy`s plans to operationalise the
indigenous nuclear submarine.
India already has the capability to launch nuclear
weapons from land and air and INS Arihant will complete the
INS Arihant was formally launched in July 2009 and it
would be the first in the series of three nuclear-powered
submarines that the country is building with assistance from
It already possesses or is in the process of developing a
family of nuclear-capable missiles including the Agni series,
Prithvi variants, naval missile Dhanush, and submarine-
Verma refused to comment on a time-frame for induction
Akula class nuclear submarine Nerpa on leased from Russia.
On the issue of safety procedures to be adopted on board
nuclear submarines, Verma said there is a need for a nuclear
regulatory authority. Bhabha Atomic Reactor Centre (BARC)
would have a big role to play in this regard, he said.