According to reports in Indian media circles, INS Aridhaman, Second Arihant-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine might have a launch later this month. Following its launch, the new vessel will undergo sea trials and will be inducted into service no later than 2019.
But the sneak peek suggests missile submarine might have a soft launch or may already have been launched after it was confirmed that Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) has completed assembly of the Second nuclear reactor, which is likely to propel the second N-powered submarine. INS Arihant was quietly inducted in the Indian Navy in July 2016. It was the first nuclear attack submarine built by a country other than the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.
But even if we go by media reports the second indigenous Arihant-class SSBN, INS Aridhaman, is completely outfitted, all within 7 years from the time when its keel was laid at the Vizag special projects facility. It took less time to produce than the Ohio-class SSBN rolling out of the General Dynamics Electric Boat facility at Quonset Point, Rhode Island, and Groton, MA, which has by now manufactured over a hundred SSBNs and SSNs for the US Navy.
Not too long ago, the Chinese Navy launched its Laoning-class aircraft carrier with much fanfare. It will take PLAN 15-20 years to integrate the carrier into fleet ops. India’s more strategic riposte with the Aridhaman is a perfect reminder to Xi Jinping that it won’t do his regime any good exercising the intimidation techniques of threatening, huffing and puffing, feints, etc. It could have been one of the major reasons why China retreated abruptly (But it is not launched yet? We’ll come to it later). But after the Dioklam Standoff, It was noted that there has been a spike in the Chinese naval presence in the Indian Ocean. Just days after India objected to China’s construction of a road on the Doklam plateau, India Today reported that a Chinese submarine surfaced in the Indian Ocean waters.
INS Aridhaman will carry twice as many missiles as INS Arihant besides travelling faster under water. It is fitted with eight launch tubes unlike its elder sister Arihant, which has only four. Further, experts say the new sub will carry K-15 and (the newer) K-4 ballistic missiles as does INS Arihant. K-4 is an intermediate range ballistic missile that can hit targets as far as 3500 km.
The boat will have a seven-blade propeller powered by a pressurised water reactor. She can achieve a maximum speed of 12–15 knots (22–28 km/h) on water surface and 24 knots (44 km/h) underwater.
The submarine has eight launch tubes in its hump. She can carry up to 24 K-15 Sagarika missiles (each with a range of 750 km or 470 mi), or 8 of the under-development K-4 missiles (with a range of 3,500 km or 2,200 mi).
INS Aridhaman will be fitted with the sonar ISS (Integrated Sonar Suite), state-of-the-art sonar developed by NPOL DRDO. It is a unified submarine sonar and tactical control system, which includes all types of sonar (passive, surveillance, ranging, intercept, obstacle avoidance and active). It also features an underwater communications system. The hull features twin flank-array sonars and Rafael broadband expendable anti-torpedo countermeasures
Another Buzz claims something which is very shocking and been recreated connecting various dots like!!
- Soft launch of the INS Arihant
- NOTAM/NAVAREA warnings
- Bhramos launch simultaneously.
And the speculation is:
INS Aridhaman [S3] SSBN launch happened last year, and not set for this month as reports suggest.
The main stream media has been completely kept out of the loop due to the strategic importance and highly secretive nature of the ballistic missile submarine project. The project is as important that it is directly monitored by PMO and NSA Ajit Doval who has kept tight media blackout on the secretive project, due to which media coverage is bare minimum and development details on submarines are closely guarded.
The first launch of the lead boat of Aridhaman-class SSBN possibly happened during the second quarter of 2016 with the subsequent 9-month long intensive harbor/sea trials being completed by the beginning of this year. The boat is currently undergoing weapons trials and is slated to be commissioned in the next month or so after which it will begin deterrence patrols along with INS Arihant [S2] which began its active duty in July 2016.
Also to note is that INS Arihant successfully launched the K-4 SLBM for its full range of 4,000 kms in May 2016, which was covered up by a series of BrahMos tests that happened during the same time period simultaneously in Pokhran, Abdul Kalam Island and A&N islands.
The second Aridhaman-class SSBN [S4] is currently being outfitted and set to be launched during the second quarter of 2018.
Please note that speculation of S3 been already launched has been arrived by connecting bits and pieces for the last couple of months and few “Sneak Peek” from few reliable sources.
Jai Hind !!