The 6,000-tonne submarine, which is capable of carrying nuclear missiles, is expected to be commissioned and inducted into the Indian Navy’s submarine fleet by the end of this year. Earlier, it was indicated that the commissioning will be done in 2017. However, the sea trials and the commissioning of the submarine have already been delayed by several years. According to the original schedule, the nuclear submarine, which was ceremonially launched on July 26, 2009, was supposed to go for sea trials in 2010 and formally inducted into the Indian Navy by 2011.
“Sea trails have commenced and they are expected to be completed by this year-end. The submarine is going through all the safety procedures. There are several government agencies, committees and atomic bodies, and the nuclear submarine needs to undergo scrutiny at various levels. Several surface and deep sea dives have already been done. Overall, the submarine is on the right track and it will be commissioned by this year-end. We are taking baby steps in making nuclear submarines and need to take utmost care so that no untoward incident happens,” Eastern Naval Command Commander-in-Chief Vice-Admiral Satish Soni told this correspondent.
INS Arihant had entered the open sea waters off Vizag coast on December 15 last year, in the presence of defence minister Manohar Parikkar, who kick-started the Sea-Acceptance trials.
The launch of INS Arihant’s SATs were kept a secret, due to the sensitivity involved. SATs were taken up after a series of successful Harbour-Acceptance trials at the ship building centre in Vizag over a few months.