India’s first nuclear submarine INS Arihant ready to enter operational service

23 February 2016 (Last Updated February 23rd, 2016 18:30)

The Indian Navy's first locally developed nuclear submarine INS Arihant is reportedly set to be ready to enter into operational service.

The Indian Navy's first locally developed nuclear submarine INS Arihant is reportedly set to be ready to enter into operational service.

The Economic Times reported that the submarine had successfully passed deep sea diving drills, as well as weapons launch tests.

According to navy officials, the tests were undertaken at an undisclosed place over a period of five months.

"It has passed all tests and in many things has surpassed our expectations."

A senior official was quoted by the publication as saying: "It has passed all tests and in many things has surpassed our expectations.

"Technically the submarine can now be commissioned at any time."

Powered by an 85MW capacity nuclear reactor, INS Arihant can achieve surface speeds of 12k to 15k, and submerged speeds of up to 24k, carrying a crew of 95.

In addition, the 6,000t nuclear submarine is equipped with torpedoes and missiles, including 12 ballistic missiles.

The submarine will be armed with K 15 (or BO-5) shortrange missiles with a range of over 700km and the K 4 ballistic missile with a range of 3,500km, reported the publication.

Presently, two more Arihant class submarines are being constructed at the Vishakhapatnam shipyard, which are claimed to be bigger than the previous vessel.

The Indian Navy's Submarine Design Bureau is also planning to construct a new class of six nuclear powered attack submarines (SSNs).

It is anticipated to be deployed into the navy within the next 15 years.

In April 2012, the navy had officially commissioned the Russian-leased Akula II-class K-152 Nerpa nuclear-powered attack submarine, the INS Chakra, into service.