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INS Arihant not to feature at fleet review: Navy chief

By Ians English

Visakhapatnam, Feb 5: Indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant will not feature at the ongoing International Fleet Review, the navy chief, Admiral R.K. Dhowan, said on Friday.

"No," the naval chief replied when asked if the submarine will feature at the IFR, without giving any details.

INS Arihant

INS Arihant, a 6,000-tonne submarine, is presently in the final stages of sea trials.

This puts to rest speculation on the submarine's induction in the navy during the four-day event in which around 50 navies from around the globe are participating.

The event began on Thursday with the inauguration of a maritime exhibition and IFR village here.

Indian Navy officers have said in the past that they were keen to showcase INS Arihant at the IFR though there can be no compromises with the sea trials.

INS Arihant is India's first indigenous nuclear submarine, and the lead ship of Arihant class of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines launched in 2009.

It was initially expected to go for sea trials by 2012, though this happened only in December 2015.

The vessel's miniaturised nuclear reactor, built with Russian help, went critical in 2013.

Once inducted, the submarine will complete the country's nuclear triad, giving it the capability to respond to nuclear strikes from sea, land and air-based systems.

The project is being undertaken under the Advanced Technology Vessel programme under the supervision of the Prime Minister's Office and involving agencies and establishments such as the Defence Research and Development Organisation, the Department of Atomic Energy and the Submarine Design Group of the Directorate of Naval Design, besides private companies such as Larsen & Toubro.

The submarine's design is based on the Russian Akula-1 class submarines and its 83 MW pressurised water reactor has been built with significant Russian assistance.

While its 100-member crew has been trained by Russian specialists, Indian scientists at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre have received significant expertise in reducing the reactor size to help it fit into the 10-metre diameter hull of the submarine.

India currently operates Russian-origin nuclear-powered submarine INS Chakra, which it leased for 10 years from Russia in 2012.

Nuclear submarines have the capability to stay out at sea longer, and don't need to surface for a long duration.

Conventional diesel-electric submarines have to come up to the surface at regular intervals for charging their batteries.


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