New Delhi, Nov 5: INS Arihant, India's first nuclear ballistic missile submarine, has competed its first deterrence patrol, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday.
The submarine recently returned from its first deterrence patrol, completing the establishment of the country's survivable nuclear triad, the press release read.
INS Arihant took to the seas during the UPA regime after nearly three decades osecret research. However, it's induction into service has never been officially acknowledged.
Noting that the indigenous development of the SSBN and its operationalisation attest to the country's technological prowess and the synergy and coordination among all concerned, the Prime Minister thanked them for their dedication and commitment iin realising this pioneering accomplishment in enhancing the country's security.
In a series of tweets, the PM said that the success of INS Arihant gave a boost to India's security needs. Terming it as a major achievement for the "entire nation", the PM said: "True to its name, INS Arihant will protect the 130 crore Indians from external threats and contribute to the atmosphere of peace in the region."
Stating that a credible nuclear deterrence is the need of the hour in an era such as this and peace is "our strength, not our weakness", PM Modi said: "The success of INS Arihant gives a fitting response to those who indulge in nuclear blackmail".
"Today is historic because it marks the completing of the successful establishment of the nuclear triad. India's nuclear triad will be an important pillar of global peace and stability."
The 6,000-tonne INS Arihant, under development for several years under a highly classified programme, comes under the direct control of the Nuclear Command Authority headed by PM Modi.
Launched in 2010, the Arihant is the first of a series of five indigenously constructed ballistic missile submarines (SSBN). The Indian SSBN is meant to form the third and most survivable leg of a troika of land, air and sea-based platforms enunciated by the Indian nuclear doctrine.
Deterrent patrol means a long and lonely vigil where the submarine sails submerged and undetectable for weeks on end with its load of nuclear weapons. It is meant to 'deter' an adversary from launching a first strike on the nation. Only four nations-the US, Russia, France and UK have SSBNs sailing on deterrent patrols. China has two SSBNs and is building three more but its submarines have never sailed on deterrent patrols.