In a giant step towards boosting its defence capability, India has activated nuclear reactor on-board country’s indigenous nuclear submarine (INS Arihant), thus becoming the 6th world power to have such capability.
Defence sources said the nuclear reactor on Arihant was made critical last evening and the submarine was on its own power now.
“The activation of nuclear reactor was a significant landmark in making the submarine operational. The submarine would undergo extensive sea trials before being made operational,” they said.
They said the submarine will soon be launched to sea on the Eastern coast and paves the way for its operational deployment by the Navy soon.
By activating the nuclear reactor on board submarine, India has joined a select group of countries, which have such the capability. Only US, Russia, France, China, and UK have the capability to design and construct a nuclear submarine.
Experts said this will go a long way in boosting India’s defence capabilities.
They said nuclear submarine is powered by a nuclear reactor, which generates tremendous heat driving a steam turbine. “It has unlimited underwater endurance and speed twice that of its conventional counterparts”.
“It will help India achieve the capability of going into high seas without the need to surface the vessel for long duration. Conventional diesel-electric submarines have to come up on surface at regular intervals for charging the cells of the vessel,” they said.
They said INS Arihant submarine can carry 12 nuclear missiles K-15.
Sources said Arihant has been undergoing trials at Indian Navy’s key submarine base in Vishakhapatnam. “It would be launched for sea trials soon since the nuclear reactor has gone critical. India’s defence agency has also readied a medium-range nuclear missile BO-5 for being deployed on the Arihant and its last developmental trial was held on January 27 off the coast of Vishakhapatnam.”
Indian PM, Defence Minister felicitate defence scientists
India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has congratulated the defence team calling it a giant step for India’s defence.
“I am delighted to learn that the nuclear propulsion reactor on board INS Arihant, India’s first indigenous nuclear powered submarine, has now achieved criticality. I extend my congratulations to all those associated with this important milestone, particularly the Department of Atomic Energy, the Indian Navy and the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO),” Singh said in his message.
He said the development represents a giant stride in the progress of our indigenous technological capabilities. “It is testimony to the ability of our scientists, technologists and defence personnel to work together for mastering complex technologies in the service of our nation’s security. I look forward to the early commissioning of the INS Arihant.”
India’s Defence Minister A K Antony has also congratulated defence scientists of Arihanat’s success.
Describing it as a very important milestone in Indi’s journey towards self-reliance in critical areas, he said the indigenously built nuclear submarine would be the pride of the Navy when it joins the fleet.
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Faiz Ahmad / NationalTurk India News