Joins a select league of nations having developed and operated nuclear submarines
In a significant development, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 6 November 2018 announced the successful deterrence patrol of India’s first nuclear submarine and indigenously developed, INS Arihant, establishing the nation’s nuclear triad, capable of initiating a nuclear strike from land, air and the sea.
“In an era such as this, a credible nuclear deterrence is the need of the hour. The success of INS Arihant gives a fitting response to those who indulge in nuclear blackmail,” the Prime Minister tweeted.
The PM said that it was a major achievement for the country, as now India has the capability to protect itself from external threats and contribute to the atmosphere of peace in the region. “Today is historic because it marks the completing of the successful establishment of the nuclear triad. India’s nuclear triad will be an important pillar of global peace and stability,” he wrote on Twitter.
With this achievement, India has entered the league of select group of nations having the capability to develop and operate such systems. Armed with 12 B-05 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), the 6000-tonne Arihant can deliver nuclear warheads to a target up to 750 km away. However, the defence analysts opine that India will have to develop SLBMs that can hit a target as far as 3500 km away to command a significant edge over any adversary. Moreover, India needs to have three long-range SSBNs to establish a credible underwater deterrent.
Launched by the Manmohan Singh government in 2009, later commissioned in 2016, INS Arihant was built under the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project at the Ship Building Centre in Visakhapatnam. The successful maiden deterrence petrol by the submarine is seen as a major breakthrough for India, located in a weapons of mass destruction (WMD) zone.
Pakistan expressed concern over the successful deterrence patrol by INS Arihant, noting that there should be no doubt about Islamabad’s resolve and capabilities to meet the challenges in the nuclear and conventional realms in South Asia.
“The development marks the first actual deployment of ready-to-fire nuclear warheads in South Asia which is a matter of concern not only for the Indian Ocean littoral states but also for the international community at large,” Pakistan’s foreign office spokesperson, Mohammad Faisal was quoted as saying, on 8 November 2018.