India’s first indigenously developed nuclear submarine INS Arihant is set to carry out its first missile firing this year, enabling the country to launch a nuclear missile from air, land, and sea.
INS Arihant is expected to fire domestically manufactured medium-range missile B-05, which is capable of carrying a nuclear-tipped warhead.
Defence Research Development and Organisation (DRDO) director general Dr S Chirstopher was quoted by Tribune News Service as saying: "The vessel is slated for deep diving tests and the missile named ‘B-05’ is to be test-fired from the vessel. These tests will be done within this year."
The B-05 will be India’s first submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) and the scheduled test firing will mark the completion of the country’s nuclear triad.
Powered by an 85MW capacity nuclear reactor, INS Arihant can acquire surface speeds of 12k to 15k, and submerged speeds 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.
Christopher also added that India is in the process of constructing two more Arihant-class submarines.
The DRDO director general said that India is now capable of developing a missile that can travel a distance of 10,000km with smaller warhead than the Agni-V.
Christopher said: "We have to now present our case to the government for explaining the need for such a missile."
Currently, India possesses Agni series missiles including Agni-1 with 700km range, Agni-2 with 2,000km, Agni-3 and Agni-4 with 2,500km, to more than 3,500km range, respectively.
Image: INS Arihant during sea trials in 2014. Photo: courtesy of Pallava Bagla of NDTV.