Countering China:-India’s Undersea Deterrent INS Arihant and INS Chakra

The Indian Navy quietly added the much awaited INS Arihant, India’s first indigenously-built nuclear submarine, to its fleet in August. The significance of this addition to India’s depleting fleet of submarines cannot be overstated, especially at a time when tensions with Pakistan are running high and China is flexing its muscles in the Indian Ocean. The INS Arihant is a 6,000-tonne submarine that is capable of launching nuclear weapons from underwater. Arihant is an SSBN, that is a submarine that can carry ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads.

Before we dwell into comparison between INS Arihant and INS Chakra, one needs to get accustomed to some basic Submarine Terminologies.

We all must be knowing, there are widely two types of Submarine, one being Diesel Powered and other being Nuclear Powered. Now Nuclear powered submarine we have further two classification Submersible Ship Ballistic Missile Nuclear – SSBN and Submersible Ship Nuclear – SSN,based on one’s attack capability,

The SSBN is solely used in strategic attacks. On a regular basis, the submarine goes into the waters and takes an undetected position in state of a nuclear attack. Usually, two crew members are placed in the operation of the submarine, where one member takes it into the waters and the other member is situated at the ports.

It is considered to be the ‘killer’ in the submarine world. It does go under water for a long period of time i.e. nearly half a year. During its time in the sea, the submarine avoids all contact and being detected by any other submarines or surface ships.

The ballistic missile submarines differ in their purpose to attack other submarines and cruise missile submarines. They specialize in combat with other naval vessels, which include enemy submarines and merchant shipping. They are also designed to attack large warships and tactical targets on land. The primary mission of the ballistic missile is nuclear detection and the mission profile of this submarine is to remain undetected. They are designed for stealth, many use sound-reducing design features, to have propulsion systems, and have machinery mounted on the vibration damping mounts.

The SSN are designed to track down and defeat both, the SSBN and the enemy aggression. They can also very easily detect any surface warheads with the help of the cruise missiles. These submarines also are used in the attack of particular targets on land by the launch of the fast missiles by use of the torpedo tubes.

The Submersible Ship Nuclear carries the cruise missile with explosives which are used to attack the assailants within the shores. The other purpose of the submarine ship is to conduct surveillance, perform and complete intelligence missions, so they can offer aid in highly classified operations. The size of this ship is moderately big. The SSN is used to make attacks to assailants in the nearby distance. It is considered war prone and looks for enemy ships to destroy them.


INS Arihant

INS Arihant, is still one of the most secret projects of India. Starting from it’s design phase till it’s commissioning, it has always kept new’s channel on slow track. Unknown to many commissioning of INS Arihant, didn’t took place with media presence as normally is the tradition, but it was done in utmost secrecy. It was only in October 2016, some media houses reported the commissioning of INS Arihant, but till now there is no Official Statement from Indian Navy or Ministry of Defence.

INS Arihant is to be the first of the expected five in the class of submarines designed and constructed as a part of the Indian Navy’s secretive Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project. The Arihant-class submarines are reported to be based on the Akula-class submarine. Their crew will have the opportunity to train on INS Chakra, an Akula-class submarine, which the Indian Navy leased from Russia.

Arihant will be more of “a technology demonstrator”, rather than a fully operational SSBN according to Admiral Nirmal Verma.

INS Arihant is a 6,000-tonne submarine that is capable of launching nuclear weapons from underwater. The submarine has been commissioned after extensive sea trials. Arihant is an SSBN, that is a submarine that can carry ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads. SSBNs are equipped with better stealth features and are larger compared to SSNs, which are nuclear-powered attack submarines. SSBNs are also said to be the “best guarantor” of a second strike capability in a nuclear exchange. The submarine is propelled by an 83 MW pressurised light-water reactor at its core.

INS Arihant, or for that matter any SSBN, can operate underwater over long distances for months. The INS Arihant is considered as the most potent and difficult to detect leg of India’s nuclear triad. India already has the land-based Agni ballistic missiles, and fighters like the Mirage 2000s, which are capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

Three more ships of the Arihant class with enhanced features are planned, with two already under construction even as a new generation SSBN design is being readied. If the move to create back-up systems such as long-range communication facilities, dedicated hardened bases and support vessels is taken into account, it is clear that India is committed to achieving a nuclear triad, which would be in accordance with its doctrine. However, given the broad design characteristics of the initial Arihant class boats, India will adopt a bastion approach in the Bay of Bengal (BoB) for SSBN patrols. This in turn will provide added impetus for increasing naval force levels in the Andaman & Nicobar (A&N) archipelago. It will also mean that India is unlikely to extend unqualified support to the U.S. interpretation of freedom of navigation on the high seas.

While the weapon release tests mostly referred to launches of the operational K-15 SLBM that has a range capability of 750-1000 kilometers (km) depending on the size of the payload and flight profile, the Arihant’stubes are also capable of fielding versions of the Nirbhay and Brahmos cruise missiles. The true enabler for the Arihant to carry out a limited deterrence mission vis-à-vis China is, however, the K-4 SLBM, developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) with a range capability of 3500 km. The K-4 would allow the Arihant to undertake patrol missions from the Eastern part of the BoB, far from the fulcrum of China’s anti-submarine warfare (ASW) web. The K-4, which underwent its latest test in early March, has a length of 10 meters, a diameter of 1.3 meters, can carry a one ton payload, and fits into the Arihant without any need for modifying the latter. Like the smaller K-15, the K-4 is also capable of boost-glide flight profiles designed to defeat emerging anti-ballistic missile systems. With the availability of satellite updates to remove accumulated errors from its inertial navigation system, the K-4 is claimed to be quite accurate.

The K-4 will also arm the other Arihant class boats currently under construction. The first of these boats, the INS Aridhaman, which for project purposes is designated S-3 with the Arihant being S-2, is expected to be launched soon. Aridhaman and the two other Arihant class boats that will follow it will be More larger and more advanced than the Arihant.

INS Chakra

It is Akula Class Submarine, highly regarded in US Naval Circles for its stealth in the water. INS Chakra is more of a Shark in Underwater.

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INS Chakra is a Russia-made, nuclear-propelled, hunter-killer submarine of Indian Navy. It is a 8140 tonne Akula Class nuclear Powered Attack submarine launched in 2008 and commissioned by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony at a ceremony in Visakhapatnam on the morning of 04 Apr 12.

Unlike conventional submarines that India operates which need to surface to charge their batteries often – sometimes as frequently as 24 hours-INS Chakra can stay under water as long as it wants.Its ability to stay underwater is restrained only by human endurance to Stay Underwater. INS Chakra has been taken on lease from Russia for 10 years and would provide the Navy the opportunity to train personnel and operate such nuclear-powered vessels.

The Akula Class submarine will carry conventional weapons. The vessel is armed with four 533mm torpedo tubes and four 650mm torpedo tubes. It will be used to hunt and kill enemy ships.

The INS Chakra displaces about 10,000 tons. It can do over 30 knots – more than twice the speed of conventional submarines. It can go upto a depth of 600 metres.(Your video look at the INS Chakra)

INS Chakra is one of the quietest nuclear submarines around, with noise levels next to zero.

The Submarine has about 80 crew members on board with 31 officers.The en tire crew of INS Chakra has been trained in Russia for over a year.Crew are provided with many facilities which include a large recreation area,a gymnasium and a sauna as well.

The INS Chakra is powered by 190 MW OK-650M pressurized water nuclear reactor, steam turbine with 43,000 hp,2 auxiliary electric engines capable of producing 410 hp each and 2 auxiliary diesel engines capable of producing 750 hp each.It has endurance of 100 days.

The Akula Class submarine will carry conventional weapons. The vessel is armed with four 533mm torpedo tubes and fourx650mm torpedo tubes.The submarine has capable og storing up to 40 more torpedoes/mines/missiles which includes  the Klub-S family of tactical missiles – 3M14E land-attack cruise missile, 3M-54E anti-ship, and 91RE1 anti-submarine variants.It will be used to hunt and kill enemy ships.

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