Manmohan Singh leaves for Vizag to launch India's first nuclear submarine

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New Delhi, July 26 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, left for Visakhapatnam on Saturday morning to launch India's first nuclear-powered submarine, the INS Arihant.

Dr. Singh will arrive at the Eastern Naval Command (ENC) airbase INS Dega here by a special IAF plane along with his wife Gurusharan Kaur, Defence Ministry colleagues and a host of defence personnel.

Gurusharan Kaur will break the coconut on the hull of the indigenously built submarine at the Ship Building Centre in Visakhapatnam around noon.

'Ari' means 'enemy' and 'Hant' means 'the killer'.

The 6000-tonne submarine will undergo sea trials for two years before being commissioned for full service. To maintain secrecy, the submarine was always referred to as an advanced technology vessel.

The submarine, which has taken eleven years to build, will also undergo harbour trials for its nuclear reactor and other systems.

The INS Arihant has been built under the Advanced Technology Vessels Programme at a cost of 3,000 crore rupees at the Naval Dockyard in Visakhapatnam.

With the launch of the submarine, India will join the exclusive club of US, Russia, China, France and the UK who have similar capabilities.

According to sources, the nuclear reactor of the submarine has been developed at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam.

Nuclear submarines are powered by a nuclear reactor, which generates high levels of heat that in turn drive a steam turbine, which rotates the propeller.

The "INS Arihant " is armed with nuclear-tip ballistic missiles. DRDO and BARC scientists described the launching of the nuclear submarine as a historic and challenging achievement.

India used a nuclear submarine leased by Russia from 1988 TO 1991. New Delhi has since signed an agreement with Moscow for the transfer of a couple of nuclear -powered Russian-Akula class submarine, one of which is expected to be inducted by the Navy later this year. By Praful Kumar Singh (ANI)

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