India’s 2nd Nuclear Submarine INS Aridhaman, Is Ready For Launch

Source:-India’s 2nd Nuclear Submarine INS Aridhaman, Is Ready For Launch

India’s second nuclear-armed submarine is now ready for launch, a critical step towards a planned quick induction into the Indian Navy to strengthen strategic deterrence. The ‘Aridaman’, which has been under construction at the secretive Ship Building Centre in Visakhapatnam, could be launched as early as in the next six to eight weeks.

Sources have told ThePrint that the submarine – larger, more powerful and better equipped than India’s first nuclear sub INS Arihant – has undergone all work required at the dry dock and will shortly be launched into water for further outfitting.
The launch ceremony is a critical milestone in naval shipbuilding, signifying that all major work including integration of heavy machinery and equipment is complete. The ceremony would also require political clearance. The 2009 launch of INS Arihant was a major media event by the UPA government.

The status and progress on Aridaman has been a tightly guarded secret, with no Indian official authorised to talk about the project. The nuclear submarine program is directly monitored by the National Security Advisor (NSA).
After the launch, which is basically a flooding of the dry dock followed by a gentle slipping of the submarine into the sea, the Aridaman will be moved to ‘Site Bravo’, a covered test area for further work. The launch is technically possible any time now but it will be a while – a year at the earliest – for the boat to be ready for sea trials.

Work on the Aridaman started in earnest after the Arihant was launched in 2009. While the Arihant took 11 years to reach the launch stage, Aridaman has got there within eight. The Indian Navy is hopeful that the time to induction will also be cut. Faced with technological challenges, it took the Arihant seven years to go from launch to induction – a quiet commissioning was done last year – but the Navy is believed to be looking at an ambitious two-year target for the Aridaman.

INS Aridhaman

INS Aridhaman is the second Arihant-class submarine.She is the second nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine being built by India. She is being built under the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project to build nuclear submarines at the Ship Building Centre in Visakhapatnam. This submarine will have double the number of missile hatches than its predecessor INS Arihant giving it the ability to carry more missiles. This will have a more powerful reactor than its predecessor.

What makes INS Aridhaman more deadlier than its predecessor INS Arihant :::

INS Aridhaman is the second nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine being built by India. She is being built under the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project to build nuclear submarines at the Ship Building Centre in Visakhapatnam. Even though the same class as INS Arihant, she will feature 8 launch tubes instead of the 4 giving her double the firepower of Arihant. Thus she could carry 24 K-15 Sagarika short range SLBMs or 8 K-4 long range SLBMs.

She will also feature more powerful reactor than her predecessor.

The boat will have a seven-blade propeller powered by a pressurised water reactor. She can achieve a maximum speed of 12–15 knots (22–28 km/h) on water surface and 24 knots (44 km/h) underwater.
The submarine has eight launch tubes in its hump. She can carry up to 24 K-15 Sagarika missiles (each with a range of 750 km or 470 mi), or 8 of the under-development K-4 missiles (with a range of 3,500 km or 2,200 mi).

INS Aridhaman will be fitted with the sonar ISS (Integrated Sonar Suite), state-of-the-art sonar developed by NPOL DRDO. It is a unified submarine sonar and tactical control system, which includes all types of sonar (passive, surveillance, ranging, intercept, obstacle avoidance and active). It also features an underwater communications system. The hull features twin flank-array sonars and Rafael broadband expendable anti-torpedo countermeasures.

To accommodate this expanding fleet, work is underway on a new naval base on India’s Eastern Coast at Rambilli in the state of Andhra Pradesh, called INS Varsha. The new base is specifically designed to host nuclear submarines, both SSBNs and SSNs, and is only 50 km away from the port city of Vishakhapatnam that is home to the Shipbuilding Centre (SBC) that integrates India’s nuclear submarines. This base will likely feature de-gaussing facilities as well as underground submarine pens linked to open water by access tunnels. The onset of a deep diving nuclear submarine fleet has also played a role in India’s Cabinet Committee of Security according final approval to a long pending proposal for the procurement of two deep submergence rescue vessels (DSRVs). The two new DSRVs cleared for procurement from a U.K.-based firm will be hosted by two new submarine tender ships currently under construction at a public shipyard. India last operated a DSRV in 1989 called INS Nistar when it had just started operating its first nuclear boat, a Charlie class SSN leased from the Soviet Union.

Like China’s massive nuclear submarine base at Hainan Island, the depth of water at Rambilli will allow submarines to use the base without being detected by satellites. This secrecy is crucial for SSBNs, which must remain undetected when they leave for months long patrols, carrying nuclear tipped ballistic missiles.

For years, the ministry of defence (MoD) has refused to acknowledge the existence of the base.

While the Arihant will naturally serve as a training platform for crews that will man its successor boats, just as the Chakra has been used to train the Arihant’s crew, like the latter it too will perform direct security missions. The Arihant’s reactor could be considered to be similar to late second generation VM series submarine reactors given acknowledged Russian assistance in this sphere. Such reactors needed refueling every 7-10 years at normal power consumption levels and the core lifetimes are sufficient for up to 5000 hours of journeying. This would be adequate for limited deterrence missions in potential patrol areas. Indeed, as the then IN Chief of Staff, Nirmal Verma stated in 2010, “India’s nuclear triad is there when it is commissioned,” indicating clear intent to mount deterrence patrols using the Arihant.

At the time of the Arihant’s launch in 2009, the outgoing Russian ambassador to India, Vyacheslav Trubinikov, noted that its design was based on the Akula class boats. Now if this were a reference to the Arihant’s level of quietening, it could mean that the boat was quieter than both China’s Shang Class SSNs as well as its Jin Class SSBN’s, if one were to go by the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence’s 2009 rankings about the degree of stealth exhibited by these boats. In any event, active noise cancellation technologies are likely to find their way into the Arihant’s successors, making them more difficult to detect.


After being moved under the power of harbour tugs to Site Bravo, the Aridaman will undergo several tests over the next year, including the crucial activation of the nuclear reactor. All major components that include the all-important missile launchers and torpedo tubes are already integrated and the submarine would be tested using external power.
After the systems pass all safety tests using external power, the nuclear reactor of the submarine – developed by the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) – will be activated. After the nuclear reactor stabilises, the boat will again undergo safety checks for all systems before being moved to the stage of harbour trials.
Sea trials will subsequently commence to take the submarine through the rigours of combat duty. This will include submerged tests, high speed cruises and firing from torpedo and missile tubes. Indian Navy crews – who are also operating the INS Chakra nuclear attack submarine leased from Russia – will be transferred to carry out tests and the induction process for Aridaman.

Besides the plans for nuclear armed submarines, India has also cleared a project to construct a new line of nuclear-powered but conventionally-armed submarines (SSNs). The mammoth plan, expected to cost over $12 billion, is for six modern vessels to be made in India. First official comments on the plan came in 2015 with a senior Navy officer revealing that the design work had started on the project and the aim is to come out with a new class of submarines within 15 years.




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