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Arihant-class submarine
File:INS Arihant at launch.jpg
INS Arihant during it's launch in 2009
Class overview
Name: Arihant (अरिहंत:)
Builders: Hindustan Shipyard Limited
Indian Navy Ensign
Indian Navy
Succeeded by: Arihant follow-on submarine
In commission: 2014– (est.)
Building: 3
Planned: 6
Completed: 1 (sea trials)
General characteristics
Type: Ballistic missile submarine
Displacement: 6,000 tonnes (5,900 long tons; 6,600 short tons)[1] surfaced
Length: 112 m (367 ft)[1]
Beam: 15 m (49 ft)
Draft: 10 m (33 ft)
Installed power: 1 × pressurized water reactor[2]
83 MW (111,000 hp)
Propulsion: 1 × propeller shaft
Speed: Surfaced: 12–15 knots (22–28 km/h)
Submerged: 24 knots (44 km/h)
Range: unlimited except by food supplies
Test depth: 300 m (980 ft)
Complement: 95
Sensors and
processing systems:
USHUS sonar

Missiles: 4 missile silos[2] for 12 × K15 SLBM (750–1900 km or 405–1026 mi range) or 4 × K-4[2][3] SLBM (Under development) (3500 km or 1890 km range)

Torpedoes: 6 × 21" (533 mm) torpedo tubes - est. 30 charges (torpedoes, cruise missiles or mines)[4]

The Arihant class (Sanskrit, for Slayer of Enemies) is a class of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines being built for the Indian Navy. The lead vessel of the class, INS Arihant, has been launched for sea trails by August 2013. Four vessels are being built and are expected to be in commission by 2023.

The Arihant-class vessels are India's first indigenously designed and built nuclear submarine. They were developed under the US$2.9 billion Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project to design and build nuclear-powered submarines. INS Arihant is the first ballistic missile submarine to have been built outside the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.


The Arihant class submarines will be ballistic missile submarines that are nuclear powered. They are being built under the US$2.9 billion Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project to design and build nuclear-powered submarines.[5][6][7][8][9][10] They will be the first nuclear submarines designed and built by India.[11] INS Arihant is the first nuclear submarine built outside the five permanent members of the security council.[12]

The Arihant-class submarines will have a length of 112 m (367 ft) overall, a beam of 15 m (49 ft) and a draft of 10 m (33 ft). They displace 6,000 tonnes (5,900 long tons; 6,600 short tons) and have a diving depth of 300 m (980 ft). The complement is about 95, including officers and sailors.[13]

The boats will have one seven blade propeller powered by an 83 MW (111,000 hp) pressurized water reactor. They can achieve a maximum speed of 12–15 knots (22–28 km/h) when on surface and 24 knots (44 km/h) when submerged.[13]

The submarines have four launch tubes in their hump. They can carry up to 12 K-15 Sagarika missiles with one warhead each (with a range of 750 km or 470 mi),[14] or 4 of the under-development K-4 missiles (with a range of 3,500 km or 2,200 mi).[15]

The Arihant-class submarines are reported to be similar to the Akula I class submarines of Russia.[13] The Indian Navy will have the opportunity to train on INS Chakra, an Akula-class submarine, which the Indian Navy leased from Russia in 2012.[16][17]

The lead boat of the class, INS Arihant is fitted with a combination of two sonar systems – USHUS and Panchendriya. USHUS is a state-of-the-art sonar meant for Kilo-class submarines. Panchendriya is a unified submarine sonar and tactical control system, which includes all types of sonar (passive, surveillance, ranging, intercept and active). It also features an underwater communications system.The hull features twin flank-array sonars and Rafael broadband expendable anti-torpedo countermeasures. The UPA government's report card carried an image of the lead vessel, which provided the first public glimpse of the completed submarine.[18]


India continued to harbour deep ambivalence about nuclear weapons and did not accord a priority to their production until the 1970s. In December 1971, during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, the U.S. President Richard Nixon sent a carrier battle group named Task Force 74, led by the nuclear-powered USS Enterprise, into the Bay of Bengal in an attempt to intimidate India. In response, the Soviet Union sent a submarine armed with nuclear missiles from Vladivostok to trail the US task force.[19] The salutary effect of the Soviet response demonstrated the deterrent significance of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile submarines to then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.[20] Following the 1974 Smiling Buddha nuclear test, the Director of Marine Engineering (DME) at Naval Headquarters (NHQ) initiated a technical feasibility study for an indigenous nuclear propulsion system (Project 932).[21]

The Indian Navy's Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) Project to design and construct a nuclear submarine took shape in the 1990s.[22] First confirmation of the project came in 1998 from then Defence Minister, George Fernandes.[23] The initial intent of the project was to design nuclear-powered fast attack submarines, though following nuclear tests conducted by India in 1998 at Pokhran Test Range and the Indian pledge of no first use, the project was re-aligned towards the design of a ballistic missile submarine[24] in order to complete India's nuclear triad.[25]

The ATV project overcame many challenges, the primary one being the design and miniaturization of the nuclear reactor.[26] The lead vessel was first floated from its dry dock at a symbolic launch ceremony on 26 July 2009.[27]


Bhabha Atomic Research Center, site of the reactor's construction

The Arihant-class submarines are powered by an 83 MW pressurized water reactor (PWR) with highly enriched uranium fuel.[28][29] The miniaturized naval version of the reactor was designed and built by the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) in Kalpakkam.[30] A land-based prototype of the marine PWR was first built at Kalpakkam. It included a 42-meter section of the submarine's pressure hull containing the shielding tank with water and the reactor, a control room, as well as an auxiliary control room for monitoring safety parameters.[31] The prototype reactor became critical on 11 November 2003 and was declared operational on 22 September 2006.[20] Successful operation of the prototype for three years yielded the data and the confidence that enabled the production version of the reactor for Arihant.[32][33] The reactor consists of 13 fuel assemblies each having 348 fuel pins. Several companies supplied components of the reactor. High grade steel supplied by Heavy Engineering Corporation, Ranchi was used to build the reactor vessel. The steam generator was provided by BHEL; and Audco India, Chennai built the pressure valves.[34]

Hindustan Shipyard at Visakhapatnam

Separately, infrastructure for testing the reactor subsystems was set up at the Machinery Test Centre in Visakhapatnam.[35] Facilities for loading and replacing the fuel cores of the naval reactors in berthed submarines were also established at the Ship Building Centre.[20]

Once the design was finalized, detailed engineering was implemented at Larsen and Toubro's submarine design centre at their Hazira shipbuilding facility using 3D modelling and product data management software.[36] Tata Power SED built the control systems for the submarine.[37] The steam turbines and associated systems integrated with the PWR were supplied by Walchandnagar Industries.[38]

The lead vessel underwent a long and extensive process of testing after its "launch" in July 2009.[39] Every sub-system of the propulsion and power systems on board the submarine was repeatedly tested with high-pressure steam trials of all pipelines. This was followed by harbour-acceptance trials that included submersion tests by flooding its ballast tanks and controlled dives to limited depths. Data gathered from her acceptance trials is expected to aid the development of nuclear submarines to follow.[40] INS Arihant's reactor went critical for the first time on August 10, 2013, with harbour acceptance trials completed and sea trials expected later that year.[41]

Ships in class

Conceptual drawing of the INS Arihant

India has decided to construct more nuclear-powered Arihant-class submarines and three more submarines of this class are under construction (dubbed S-2, S-3 and S-4), as of January 2014. One submarine is being constructed at Visakhapatnam and two at Vadodara.[2][42][43] India plans to built six of these submarines in long term.[44] The first four vessels are all expected to be in commission by 2023.[2] As of 2013, the lead boat Arihant is undergoing sea-trails with its nuclear reactor active.[12]

Name Pennant Builder Launch Sea Trials Commissioning Status
INS Arihant Shipbuilding Centre Visakhapatnam 26 July 2009 2013[45][46] 2014[47] Completed[45]
INS Aridhaman Shipbuilding Centre Visakhapatnam 2013[47] TBD TBD Being out fitted[2][48]
ATV-3 Shipbuilding Centre Vadodara TBD TBD TBD Under construction
ATV-4 Shipbuilding Centre Vadodara TBD TBD TBD Under construction


Date Event
3–16 December 1971 The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 takes place
18 May 1974 India conducts the Smiling Buddha nuclear tests
11 May 1998 Pokhran-II nuclear tests take place
19 May 1998 First conformation of the ATV project by the then Defense Minister George Fernandes
11 November 2003 Prototype nuclear reactor becomes critical
22 September 2006 The nuclear reactor is declared operational
26 July 2009 The lead vessel of the class, INS Arihant is formally launched
10 August 2013 Arihant's on-board nuclear reactor attains criticality.[49]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "India reaches milestone with launch of n-powered submarine". 2009-07-26. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "India to achieve N-arm triad in February". The Times of India. 2012-01-02. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  3. "Livefist - Indian Defence & Aerospace: MAG REPORT: India's Secret K-Missile Family". 2010-11-21. Archived from the original on 28 December 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  4. Pike, John (2009-07-27). "Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV)". Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  5. "Indian indigenous nuclear sub to be unveiled on 26 July: report". 2009-07-16. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  6. "India nuclear sub project near completion". 2009-02-12. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  7. "PM to launch indigenous nuke submarine by month-end". MSN. 16 July 2009. Retrieved 19 July 2009. 
  8. "Indigenous nuclear submarine goes on trial". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 2009-07-19. Retrieved 19 July 2009. 
  9. Sud, Hari (2009-08-14). "India's nuclear submarine and the Indian Ocean". Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  10. "India's nuclear submarine dream, still miles to go". Reuters. 2009-07-31. 
  11. "Final test of K-15 ballistic missile on Tuesday". 2008-02-25. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 Jonathan Marcus (10 August 2013). "Indian-built Arihant nuclear submarine activated". Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 "SSBN Arihant Class Submarine, India". Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  14. "The secret undersea weapon". India Today. 2008-01-17. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  15. "The secret 'K' missile family". India Today. 2010-11-20. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  16. "Arihant - Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV)". Global Security. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  17. "Leased Russian n-submarine to set sail for India this month end". 2011-12-15. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  18. "INS Arihant image". Archived from the original on 2012-07-08. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  19. Rakesh Krishnan Simha (2011-12-20). "US-Soviet Actions in 1971 Indo-Pakistani War". Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 "Arihant: the annihilator". Indian Defence Review. 2010-10-25. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  21. Das, Premvir (2009-07-30). "Project 932". Retrieved 2013-04-24. 
  22. "India's SNS Project Report". Retrieved 2013-04-24. 
  23. "George defends position on China". 1998-05-19. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  24. Pike, John. "Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV)". Archived from the original on 26 December 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  25. "First indigenous nuclear sub is inducted into the navy". 2009-07-26. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  26. "India's nuclear sub still a distant dream". 2001-02-16. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  27. "defence.professionals". 2009-07-28. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  28. Pandit, Rajat (2009-07-17). "India set to launch nuclear-powered submarine". The Times Of India. 
  29. "High fissile fuel in nuclear submarine lasts long". Chennai, India: 2009-11-05. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  30. "INS Arihant is an Indian design: Anil Kakodkar". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 2009-08-16. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  31. Shekhar, G.C. (2009-08-03). "Unveiled: Arihant’s elder brother". Calcutta, India: Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  32. "PWR building shows indigenous capability, says Kakodkar". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 2009-08-02. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  33. "Arihant propulsion reactor unveiled". Hindustan Times. 2009-08-02. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  34. Arihant Class Submarine - Naval Technology
  35. "Naval Research Board". Retrieved 2013-04-24. 
  36. "Larsen and Toubro's Contribution to Arihant-class submarine-Press Release" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-04-24. 
  37. "India's first Indigenous nuclear submarine". Jeywin.–-india’s-first-indigenous-nuclear-submarine/. Retrieved 24 April 2013. (subscription required)
  38. "Private sector played a major role in Arihant". 2009-07-27. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  39. "Nuclear submarine Arihant to be fitted with K-15 ballistic missiles". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 2009-07-27. 
  40. "Home-made nuke sub INS Arihant to be inducted in 2 years". The Times of India. 2009-12-03. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  41. "K-15 all set to join Arihant". The Hindu. 2012-12-27. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  42. Mallikarjun, Y.; Subramanian, T. S. (27 January 2013). "India successfully test-fires underwater missile". Chennai, India. Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  43. "India To Construct Two More Arihant Nuclear Submarines For Navy". 2012-02-28. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  44. Jonathan Marcus. "India's submarine acquisition a sign of widening horizons". Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  45. 45.0 45.1 "Chinese submarines a concern: Indian Navy Chief". IBN Live. 2 November 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2011. 
  46. Sea trials soon of India's indigenous n-submarine
  47. 47.0 47.1 S. Anandan (2012-01-14). "Second nuclear submarine headed for year-end launch". Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  48. "भारत बना रहा है दूसरी परमाणु पनडुब्बी INS अरिदमन-देश - IBN Khabar". 2011-05-23. 
  49. "Reactor of India's first indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant goes 'critical'". 10 August 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2013. 

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