India has a desire of owning a nuclear-powered, nuclear attack capable submarine. India’s dream came true when the first submarine under the project ATV(Advance Technology Vessels). Project ATV had its roots in 1980’s when India wanted a second strike capability against its hostile nuclear neighbors. The first submarine was INS Arihant, which has recently completed its weapon firing and sensor suites trials.
INS Arihant will complete India’s nuclear triad, which means India will have capabilities to fire the nuclear missile from land, air, and sea. INS Arihant is a smaller boat as compared to its western counterparts. INS Arihant can carry 12 K-15 Sagarika Missiles or four larger K-4 missiles in its four vertical tubes. K-15 Sagarika has range of 750Km and K-4 can hit a target from 3,500 km.
Indian nuclear submarine took a long to came into service, the main problem being the development was the availability of the nuclear reactor for powering the nuclear submarine. BARC was assigned to the job of development of a nuclear reactor for the nuclear submarine of India. Submarines use pressurized water reactor using enriched uranium as fuel and it is capable of producing 83 MW of power. BARC designed a reactor which was labeled ‘S-1’ and it consisted of the reactor, control systems, and the shielding tank, the reactor went critical on 11th November 2013.
The extended capabilities of INS Aridhaman
INS Aridhaman is the second vessel in Arihant class nuclear submarine, but it will have more firepower than INS Arihant. She is also under construction at Ship Building Centre in Vishakhapatnam. INS Airdhaman will be armed more intensely than INS Arihant, the vessels will have double hatches than INS Arihant and a more powerful nuclear reactor than its predecessor.
INS Aridhaman will have 8 launch tubes which will make her capable of firing 24 K-15 Sagarika SLBM and 8 K-4 SLBM. Sagarika is a short range Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBM) and K-4 is a long range SLBM. The propeller of the vessels is designed very carefully to reduce the sound, the propeller is seven blade powered by a pressurized water reactor. The cutting design will enable this boat to move very fast. INS Aridhaman can move with the speed of 24 knots or 44 km/h underwater and 12-15 knots or 22-28 km/h on water surface.