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India readies nuclear sub for sea trials

by Mike Hoffman on August 8, 2012

India took another step Wednesday toward elevating its navy toward joining the other elite global maritime powers when it announced its first home-built nuclear submarine was set for sea trials.

In April, the Indian navy introduced a Russian-leased nuclear submarine into its fleet joining the United States, France,China, Britain and Russia as the only navies with nuclear-powered vessels.

The INS Arihant will mark the India navies and its defense industries next step proving it can build their own fleet. The Arihant (Destroyer of Enemies) was introduced three years ago as part of a larger Indian naval strategy to build five submarines loaded with nuclear tipped missiles.

“Our maritime and nuclear doctrine will then be aligned to ensure that our nuclear insurance comes from the sea,” Indian navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma said.

The 6,000 ton Arihant will carry a 95-member crew with the potential to run 24 knots powered by an 85-megawatt nuclear reactor.

It will be telling to see if India’s coming submarine fleet launches a new arms race in the region.

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