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Arihant-class submarine

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Title: Arihant-class submarine  
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Subject: Indian Navy, Arihant-class submarines, INS Arihant, Soviet submarine K-43, Seaward-class defense boats
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Arihant-class submarine

INS Arihant during sea trials in 2014
Class overview
Name: Arihant
Builders: Navy Shipbuilding Centre, Vishakapatnam[1]
Operators:  Indian Navy
In commission: 2016
Completed: 1 (sea trials)
General characteristics
Type: Nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine
Displacement: 6,000 tonnes (5,900 long tons; 6,600 short tons)[2] surfaced
Length: 112 m (367 ft)[2]
Beam: 11 m (36 ft)
Draft: 10 m (33 ft)
Installed power:
  • Surfaced: 12–15 knots (22–28 km/h)
  • Submerged: 24 knots (44 km/h)
Range: unlimited except by food supplies
Test depth: 300 m (980 ft)
Complement: 95
Sensors and
processing systems:
USHUS sonar

Missiles: 12 × K15 SLBM (750–1900 km or 405–1026 mi range) or 4 × K-4[3][4] SLBM (Under development) (3500 km or 1890 mi range)

Torpedoes: 6 × 21" (533 mm) torpedo tubes – est 30 charges (torpedoes, cruise missiles or mines)[5]

The Arihant class (Sanskrit, for Killer of Enemies) is a class of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines being built for the Indian Navy. The lead vessel of the class, INS Arihant, was first launched in 2009 and began sea trials in December 2014.

They were developed under the US$2.9 billion Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project to design and build nuclear-powered submarines. INS Arihant is the first ballistic missile submarine to have been built by a country other than one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.[6]


  • Description 1
  • History 2
  • Development 3
  • Ships in class 4
  • Timeline 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8
    • Video 8.1


The Arihant-class submarines are nuclear powered ballistic missile submarines. They are being built under the US$2.9 billion Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project to design and build nuclear-powered submarines.[7][8][9][10][11][12] They will be the first nuclear submarines designed and built by India.[13]

The Arihant-class submarines will have a length of 112 m (367 ft) overall, a beam of 15 m (49 ft) and a Draught of 10 m (33 ft). They displace 6,000 tonnes (5,900 long tons; 6,600 short tons) and have a diving depth of 300 m (980 ft). The complement is about 95, including officers and sailors.[14]

The boats will have one seven blade propeller powered by an 83 MW (111,000 hp) pressurised water reactor. They can achieve a maximum speed of 12–15 knots (22–28 km/h) when surfaced and 24 knots (44 km/h) when submerged.[14]

The submarines have four launch tubes in their hump. They can carry up to 12 K-15 Sagarika missiles with one warhead each (with a range of 750 km or 470 mi),[15] or 4 of the K-4 missiles (with a range of 3,500 km or 2,200 mi).[16]

The Arihant-class submarines are reported to be similar to the Akula-class submarine of Russia.[14] The Indian Navy will have the opportunity to train on INS Chakra, an Akula-class submarine, which the Indian Navy leased from Russia in 2012.[17][18]

The lead boat of the class, INS Arihant is fitted with a combination of two sonar systems – USHUS and Panchendriya. USHUS is a state-of-the-art sonar meant for Kilo-class submarines. Panchendriya is a unified submarine sonar and tactical control system, which includes all types of sonar (passive, surveillance, ranging, intercept and active). It also features an underwater communications system. The hull features twin flank-array sonars and Rafael broadband expendable anti-torpedo countermeasures. The UPA government's report card carried an image of the lead vessel, which provided the first public glimpse of the completed submarine.[19]


India continued to harbour deep ambivalence about nuclear weapons and did not accord a priority to their production until the 1970s. In December 1971, during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, the U.S. President Richard Nixon sent a carrier battle group named Task Force 74, led by the nuclear-powered USS Enterprise, into the Bay of Bengal in an attempt to intimidate India. In response, the Soviet Union sent a submarine armed with nuclear missiles from Vladivostok to trail the US task force.[20] The salutary effect of the Soviet response demonstrated the deterrent significance of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile submarines to then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.[21] Following the 1974 Smiling Buddha nuclear test, the Director of Marine Engineering (DME) at Naval Headquarters (NHQ) initiated a technical feasibility study for an indigenous nuclear propulsion system (Project 932).[22]

The Indian Navy's Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) Project to design and construct a nuclear submarine took shape in the 1990s.[23] First confirmation of the project came in 1998 from then

  • INS Arihant to be unveiled


  • The Indian Strategic Nuclear Submarine Project by Mark Gorwitz

External links

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  35. ^ Arihant Class Submarine – Naval Technology
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See also

Date Event
3–16 December 1971 The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 takes place
18 May 1974 India conducts the Smiling Buddha nuclear tests
11 May 1998 Pokhran-II nuclear tests take place
19 May 1998 First confirmation of the ATV project by the then Defence Minister George Fernandes
11 November 2003 Prototype nuclear reactor becomes critical
22 September 2006 The nuclear reactor is declared operational
26 July 2009 The lead vessel of the class, INS Arihant is formally launched
10 August 2013 Arihant‍ '​s on-board nuclear reactor attains criticality.
13 December 2014 INS Arihant begins extensive sea & weapons trials
Late 2015 INS Arihant is expected to be operational[52]


Name Pennant Builder Launch Sea Trials Commissioning Status Home port
INS Arihant Shipbuilding Centre Visakhapatnam 26 July 2009 13 December 2014[49] Early 2016[50] Under sea-trials[49] Visakhapatnam
INS Aridhaman Shipbuilding Centre Visakhapatnam Second Qut.-2016 Mid 2017 2018 Being readied for launch[3][51] Visakhapatnam

India has decided to construct more nuclear-powered Arihant-class submarines and three more submarines of this class are under construction (dubbed S-2, S-3 and S-4), as of January 2012. One submarine is being constructed at Visakhapatnam and two at Vadodara.[3][45][46] India plans to build six of these submarines in long term.[47] The first four vessels are all expected to be in commission by 2023.[3] In December 2014 it was reported that work on a second nuclear reactor had begun.[48]

Conceptual drawing of INS Arihant

Ships in class

The lead vessel underwent a long and extensive process of testing after its "launch" in July 2009.[40] Every sub-system of the propulsion and power systems on board the submarine was repeatedly tested with high-pressure steam trials of all pipelines. This was followed by harbour-acceptance trials that included submersion tests by flooding its ballast tanks and controlled dives to limited depths. Data gathered from her acceptance trials is expected to aid the development of nuclear submarines to follow.[41] INS Arihant‍ '​s reactor went critical for the first time on 10 August 2013.[42] After completing its harbour acceptance trials, on the misty morning of 13 December 2014, the indigenously built nuclear-powered submarine emerged partially submerged from the breakwaters of the Visakhapatnam harbour and sailed north along the Bay of Bengal coast off for its extensive sea trails.[43][44]

Once the design was finalised, detailed engineering was implemented at Larsen and Toubro's submarine design centre at their Hazira shipbuilding facility using 3D modelling and product data management software.[37] Tata Power SED built the control systems for the submarine.[38] The steam turbines and associated systems integrated with the PWR were supplied by Walchandnagar Industries.[39]

Separately, infrastructure for testing the reactor subsystems was set up at the Machinery Test Centre in Visakhapatnam.[36] Facilities for loading and replacing the fuel cores of the naval reactors in berthed submarines were also established at the Ship Building Centre.[21]

The Arihant-class submarines are powered by an 83 MW pressurised water reactor (PWR) with highly enriched uranium fuel.[29][30] The miniaturised naval version of the reactor was designed and built by the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) in Kalpakkam.[31] A land-based prototype of the marine PWR was first built at Kalpakkam. It included a 42-metre section of the submarine's pressure hull containing the shielding tank with water and the reactor, a control room, as well as an auxiliary control room for monitoring safety parameters.[32] The prototype reactor became critical on 11 November 2003 and was declared operational on 22 September 2006.[21] Successful operation of the prototype for three years yielded the data and the confidence that enabled the production version of the reactor for Arihant.[33][34] The reactor consists of 13 fuel assemblies each having 348 fuel pins. Several companies supplied components of the reactor. High grade steel supplied by Heavy Engineering Corporation, Ranchi was used to build the reactor vessel. The steam generator was provided by BHEL; and Audco India, Chennai built the pressure valves.[35]

Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, site of the reactor's construction


The ATV project overcame many challenges, the primary one being the design and miniaturisation of the nuclear reactor.[27] The lead vessel was first floated from its dry dock at a symbolic launch ceremony on 26 July 2009.[28]

[26].nuclear triad in order to complete India's [25], the project was re-aligned towards the design of a ballistic missile submarineno first use and the Indian pledge of Pokhran Test Range at nuclear tests conducted by India in 1998 The initial intent of the project was to design nuclear-powered fast attack submarines, though following [24]

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