INS Arihant may be ready, but India shouldn’t pop the champagne bottle yet


On 5 November, Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted a series of tweets about India’s first indigenous nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) having completed her maiden deterrence patrol.

Project 932 –studies and projects to understand the feasibility of building nuclear submarines— was initiated in the 1970s by India, and later became the ATV (Advanced Technology Vessel project). I met the few members of this Project 932 team in 1982, when undergoing basic training under Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) scientists for our deputation to Vladivostok, then USSR, for training on a nuclear submarine.

My 30 months in Vladivostok, along with another 160-odd submariners, exposed us to the task of mastering nuclear physics, reactor physics, radiation safety and, of course, a year of sea training on the anti-ship cruise missile-firing Charlie class (Project 670) submarine, which was later leased to the Indian Navy on 5 January 1988 for three years, as INS Chakra (not to be confused with the Russian Akula class Project 971 SSN, also named INS Chakra, which was commissioned into the Indian Navy in 2012, and is currently serving on a 10-year lease). Read More

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