The Indian Navy will get a massive boost when it launches its second nuclear submarine INS Aridaman. The ship could be launched in the next six to eight weeks. It has been under construction at a secretive Ship Building Centre in Visakhapatnam.
It is being said that the INS Aridaman is larger, more powerful and better equipped than India’s first nuclear submarine INS Arihant. The status and progress on INS Aridaman has been kept a secret. The nuclear submarine program is directly monitored by NSA AjitDoval.
The launch can occur anytime soon but the submarine will be ready for sea trials in a year or so.
The INS Arihant faced a lot of testing and technological issues that delayed its construction. Shipbuilders have learnt from that experience and have drastically cut down construction time on the INS Aridaman. It took 11 years for the INS Arihant to reach the launch stage while Aridaman has got there within eight. The induction time for Aridaman is also expected to be shortened.
The new boat is much better equipped than INS Arihant as it can carry more of the K-15 submarine launched missiles and it also has a more powerful reactor than the 83 MW one on the Arihant.
Other than focusing on nuclear armed submarines, the government also cleared a project in 2015 to construct a new line of nuclear-powered but conventionally-armed submarines (SSNs) in India. This project is expected to cost a mammoth $12 billion, and will see the construction of 6 SSNs.
When it comes to India’s deterrence with respect to Pakistan and China, the one arm of the forces that needs most focus is the Navy. Our capability at sea is vastly superior to Pakistan which was on display even during the 1971 war. Times have changed and India has only widened the gap between its capability at sea in comparison to Pakistan’s. Now the entire focus is on raising deterrence against an aggressive China. China is undoubtedly superior to India both in numbers and technology at sea. The one aspect where India lags behind the most is submarines. China has almost 5 times the subs India has and they’re technologically advanced as well. The induction of INS Aridaman along with the project to construct more submarines is imperative in creating credible deterrence against China at sea.