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July 26, 2009

Destroyer of the enemy

With INS Arihant, India's first indigenously-built nuclear-powered submarine - and its existing land- and air-based capabilities - the world's largest democracy takes a big step toward a second-strike capable nuclear triad.

With Sunday's induction, India has made its entry into an elite club of nations comprising the US, Russia, France, the UK and China which possess capabilities to develop nuclear submarine.

"On Sunday, we join a select group of five nations who possess capacity to build a nuclear-powered submarine," the Prime Minister noted.Code-named Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV), Arihant will carry 'Sagarika' (K-15) missile that has a range of 700 kms.

As India has declared "no first use" of nuclear weapons, the country's weapons system must survive a first strike for retaliation. Therefore, Arihant's primary weapon is stealth as it can lurk in ocean depths of half a kilometre or more and fire its missiles from under the sea.

With the caveat that the Indians still have a lot of work to do to make this thing work.

Related: India is set to begin construction on its third Antarctic research station.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at July 26, 2009 10:08 AM