The Indian Navy’s indigenously built nuclear-powered attack submarine, INS Arihant, will be equipped with ballistic missiles, according to the director of India’s nuclear submarine programme.

Advanced technology vehicle (ATV) project director-general DPS Varma said the K-15 submarine-launched ballistic missiles will be equipped on INS Arihant when it is inducted into the Navy by the end of 2011, according to the Hindustan Times.

Varma said India’s submarine fleet should have five to six nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines.

The K-15 missile is capable of delivering a nuclear warhead of up to 700km, while the ship can complement a total of 12 ballistic missiles in its arsenal.

Plans to build two more nuclear-powered submarines are progressing well to reinforce India’s strategic deterrent force at sea, Varma said.