INS Arihant

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    In News

    • Recently, INS Arihant carried out a successful launch of a Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM).

    About India’s nuclear programme

    • In 1998, India conducted nuclear tests under Pokhran-II.
    • In 2003, India declared its nuclear doctrine based on CMD and a NFU policy while reserving the right of massive retaliation if struck with nuclear weapons first.
    • The Agni series of missiles constitute the backbone of India’s nuclear weapons delivery, which also includes the Prithvi short range ballistic missiles.
      • The Agni series of missiles are medium and intercontinental range nuclear capable ballistic assets.

    About INS Arihant

    • It was launched in 2009 and commissioned in 2016. 
    • It is India’s first indigenous nuclear powered ballistic missile capable submarine built under the secretive Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project, which was initiated in the 1990s.
    • INS Arihant and its class of submarines are classified as ‘SSBN’, which is the hull classification symbol for nuclear powered ballistic missile carrying submarines. 
      • While the Navy operates the vessel, the operations of the SLBMs from the SSBN are under the purview of India’s Strategic Forces Command, which is part of India’s Nuclear Command Authority. 
    • INS Arihant is presently armed with K-15 SLBM with a range of 750 km
      • INS Arihant can carry a dozen K-15 missiles on board

    Do you know?

    • The second submarine in the Arihant class is SSBN Arighat.
      • It is reported to have been launched in 2017, and said to be undergoing sea trials at present. 

    The Missile

    • The Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs) are sometimes called the ‘K’ family of missiles.
      • They have been indigenously developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
      • The family is codenamed after Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, the centre figure in India’s missile and space programmes who also served as the 11th President of India. 
    • Because these missiles are to be launched from submarines, they are lighter, more compact and stealthier than their land-based counterparts.
    • The development of the K family missiles has been done in consonance with the ATV project.
      • Part of the K family is the SLBM K-15, which is also called B-05 or Sagarika. It has a range of 750 km. 
    • India has also developed and successfully tested K-4 missiles from the family, which have a range of 3,500 km.

    Significance 

    • Nuclear triad:
      • The capability of being able to launch nuclear weapons submarine platforms has great strategic significance in the context of achieving a nuclear triad, especially in the light of the “No First Use” policy of India.
    • Second strike capability: 
      • These submarines can not only survive a first strike by the adversary, but can also launch a strike in retaliation, thus achieving ‘Credible Nuclear Deterrence’.
    • China and Pakistan factor:
      • The development of these capabilities is important in the light of India’s relations with China and Pakistan.

    Source: TH