New Delhi, Sept 15: INS Aridhaman, India’s second indigenous nuclear submarine, is likely to be launched by end of the month. The warship is expected to boost the Navy’s arsenal, providing it an edge in the Indian Ocean.

The vessel, according to analysts, is likely to be incorporated into service no later than 2019. The sea trials would to be conducted shortly after its launch.

INS Aridhaman, apart from providing a competitive edge to India among its neighbours in the South Asia region, would also make New Delhi the only state apart from the five UNSC members to operate two home-made nuclear U-boats.

Key facts about INS Aridhaman:

  • INS Aridhaman is being built under the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project at the Ship Building Centre in Visakhapatnam.
  • The vessel could carry double the amount of missiles which INS Arihant could load. While the latter was fitted with four vertical tubes to carry missiles, Aridhaman has eight, claim reports.
  • With eight launch tubes, the warship could be loaded with 24 indigenously-developed K-15 (Sagarika) missiles or eight K-4 missiles.
  • The K-4 missile, which could be used with this nuclear sub, could strike targets as far as 3,500-km.
  • Another major strength of Aridhaman is its powerful reactor, as compared to its elder sister Arihant’s 83 MW pressurised light-water reactor. The stronger reactor would allow Aridhaman to escalate its speed in an unprecedented manner under the sea.
  • The submarine is fitted with seven-blade propeller, powered by a pressurised water reactor, which would allow the vessel to travel at 24 nautical miles per hour under the water. On surface, Aridhaman could achieve a speed upto 12-15 knots.

The launch of INS Aridhaman would be the first major event under the tenure of newly appointed Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. According to experts, Sitharaman should expedite its sea trials, in order to induct it into the Navy’s arsenal by early 2019.

The nuclear sub, is essential towards safeguarding the Indian interests in eastern section of Indian Ocean, where it is facing challenges from China.

After the standoff erupted between Indian and Chinese forces in the trijunction region of Doklam, Beijing, on pretext of its services in the Gulf of Aden, escalated its presence in the Indian Ocean.

Strategic experts, since the eruption of the conflict in Doklam, said China might use its “superior naval” strength to intimidate India in the shared water body.