India’s nuclear triad is complete with INS Arihant ending its first deterrence patrol

India’s nuclear triad is complete with INS Arihant ending its first deterrence patrol

News:

  1. INS Arihant, India’s first nuclear ballistic missile submarine, has completed its first “deterrence patrol”, operationalising India’s nuclear triad.

Important Facts:

  1. The INS Arihant completes India’s nuclear triad by adding maritime strike capability to land- and air-based delivery platforms.
  2. All the big five nuclear nations namely US, Russia, France, China and the UK are already full-fledged nuclear triad powers.
  3. China reportedly began combat patrols of an armed nuclear-powered submarine in 2015.
  4. Pakistan last year tested its submarine-launched Babur missile, and in the process completed its nuclear triad, since it already possesses land-based ballistic missiles as well as tactical nuclear bombs that it can drop from its fighter aircraft.

  1. About Arihant:
  • The 6,000-tonne INS Arihant, under development for three decades under Advanced Technology Project (ATV) project comes under the direct control of the Nuclear Command Authority headed by Prime Minister.
  • It has a displacement of 6000 tonnes and is powered by an 83 MW pressurised light-water reactor with enriched uranium.
  • Arihant is presently armed with K-15 Sagarika missiles with a range of 750 km and will eventually carry the longer 3,500 km range K-4 missiles being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • The second submarine in the series, Arighat is now undergoing sea trials after which it will be inducted into service.

7.     How INS Arihant is different from other submarines?

  • India has been vying to equip its naval forces with nuclear arsenal ever since it successfully conducted Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998.
  • Strategic Strike Nuclear Submarines (SSBNs) equipped inside INS Arihant are different from conventional SSK submarines, which use a diesel-electric engine as their power source, and have to surface daily to get oxygen for fuel combustion.
  • SSBNs are bigger in size and are powered by a nuclear reactor and as a result, they can function submerged for months without having to surface.
  • This feature allows them to travel further and with greater stealth.
  1. Significance:
  • Given India’s stated position of ‘No-First-Use’ (NFU) in launching nuclear weapons, the ship submersible ballistic nuclear (SSBN) is the most dependable platform for a second-strike.
  • Because they are powered by nuclear reactors, these submarines can stay underwater indefinitely without the adversary detecting it.
  • The other two platforms namely the land-based and air-launched are far easier to detect.
  1. About Ballistic Missile:
  • A ballistic missile submarine is a strategic asset as it can fire city-destroying missiles from anywhere in the ocean and remain undetected for a long time.
  • It can sneak closer to the coast of an enemy nation and fire ballistic missiles deep into their territory, which otherwise cannot be reached by land-based short-range ballistic missiles.
  1. India’s “No First Use Policy”:
  • The country’s stated doctrine from January 2003 includes a pledge not to use nuclear weapons first but with a significant caveat, that nuclear weapons could be used if Indian forces are attacked with biological or chemical weapons.

 

Print Friendly and PDF