NEW DELHI, August 10 (Itar-Tass) - Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed hope that the final testing of the country’s first indigenous nuclear submarine Arihant can start shortly.
“I look forward to the early commissioning of the INS Arihant,” the prime minister said in a congratulatory message on Saturday, August 10, following the nuclear propulsion reactor on board INS Arihant, India’s first indigenous nuclear powered submarine, achieving criticality.
“I am delighted to learn that the nuclear propulsion reactor on board INS Arihant, India’s first indigenous nuclear powered submarine, has now achieved criticality,” he wrote.
Singh believes that “today’s development represents a giant stride in the progress of our indigenous technological capabilities. It is testimony to the ability of our scientists, technologists and defence personnel to work together for mastering complex technologies in the service of our nation’s security.”
He extended congratulations to all those associated with this important milestone, particularly the Department of Atomic Energy, the Indian Navy and the Defence Research and Development Organisation.
The submarine is intended for India’s nuclear forces that are now armed with ground-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).
Submarines of this type have water displacement of about 6,000 tonnes and can cruise while submerged at a speed of up to 30 knots, carrying 12 K-15 Sagarika medium-range ICBMs intended for destroying targets some 700 km away. In the future, the submarines will be rearmed with Agni-III missiles having a range of 3,500 km.