India quietly commissioned into service its first indigenous nuclear submarine, the, in August this year and the vessel has been operational since then, The Times of India reported on Tuesday while citing sources.
With its induction, India has completed the first step towards setting up a nuclear triad.
The national daily said that according to the same sources, despite being inducted, the Arihant is “not yet fully ready” to be deployed for “deterrent patrols”. The report added that the Ministry of Defence and the Indian Navy have refused to comment on the matter.
INS Arihant is India’s first nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine. While India has leased nuclear submarines from Russia before, Arihant is the first such vessel built indigenously.
According to reports, the vessel will be armed with the K-15 missiles, which can carry nuclear warheads to a range of 750 km, and with K-4 missile, which has a longer range.
In April this year, news agency IANS had reported that the K-4 ballistic missile was test-fired secretly from the Arihant in March the same year. The report added that the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) refused to officially comment on the matter.
The report said that the K-4 missile had a range of 3,500 km, adding that the Arihant has four vertical launch tubes, which can carry 12 K-15 missiles or four larger K-4 missiles.