Arihant sea trials in a few months
The Indian Navy’s first SSBN Arihant will enter a crucial phase of sea trials “in the coming months”, Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma declared today. “We’re pretty close to putting her to sea. In submarine design, there’s an element of unpredictability. It’s a hugely complex exercise. Sometimes, unexpected problems do come up. But I can say that in the next few months, she’ll be ready for sea trials,” he said.
Under harbour and systems trials at the Shipbuilding Centre in Visakhapatnam by the DRDO and Indian Navy, the vessel is expected to undergo a rigorour routine of trials at sea before being declared ready for commissioning and operations. The Arihant is expected to be the first of three SSBNs for the Indian Navy—the two other hulls are already in various stages of construction and fabrication.
In July, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gave away awards for indigenous technological excellence, including to Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) scientist A.K. Chakrabarti for “outstanding contributions in the successful development of the first Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile System (SLBM) for the nuclear powered platform ‘Arihant’,” a referrence to the classified K-series of missiles, including the 750-km K-15 and 3,000-4,000 km range K-4 and K-5.