a historic leap: INS arihant completes deterrence patrol, india's nuclear-triad in place

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INS Arihant completes India's nuclear triad - the country can now fire nuclear ballistic missiles at the enemy from land, sea and air

New Delhi: India on Monday made a historic leap in its nuclear capabilities as it completed its N-triad – which simply means that the country now has the capability to launch nuclear strikes on the enemy from air, land and sea, if the need arises. The nuclear triad was completed with the N-capable INS Arihant submarine successfully completing its deterrence patrol. The announcement of the same was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Mirage-2000s and Agni ballistic missiles complete the other two air and land components of India's nuclear triad.

India's new capability is a "fitting response to those who indulge in nuclear blackmail", PM Modi said in an apparent message to Pakistan, which has always tried to boast about its nuclear capability vis-a-vis India.

In his congratulatory message to the crew of Strategic Strike Nuclear Submarine (SSBN) INS Arihant, the PM said: "Today is historic because it marks the completing of the successful establishment of the nuclear triad. India's nuclear triad will be an important pillar of global peace and stability."

"The success of INS Arihant enhances India's security needs. It is a major achievement for our entire nation. In an era such as this, a credible nuclear deterrence is the need of the hour,” he added.

While announcing the development, PM Modi said India looks at INS Arihant’s capabilities as a contributor to peace in the region and not as a threat.

"India is a land of peace. Values of togetherness are enshrined in our culture. Peace is our strength, not our weakness. Our nuclear programme must be seen with regard to India's efforts to further world peace and stability," he said.

Here are some key points about India’s indigenously-built nuclear-capable submarine:

In INS Arihant, the name Arihant means "annihilator of enemies".

INS Arihant, the underwater war boat, weighs 6,000 tonnes and it has been built as part of the super-secretive Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project at the Ship Building Centre at Visakhapatnam. It is based on the Russian Akula-1 class submarine.

The submarine project was launched on July 26, 2009 by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The submarine was commissioned into the Indian Navy seven years later in August 2016 following extensive sea trials.

Since INS Arihant has now completed the "deterrence patrol", it can safely be termed as a fully-operational underwater ballistic missile delivery platform.

The submarine was under development for around three decades as part of a highly-classified programme. In fact, the PM today shared a rare photo of the submarine on Twitter. The nuclear triad comes directly under the control of the Nuclear Command Authority whose chief is the Prime Minister.

INS Arihant will be the lead ship of the Arihant-class of N-submarines. Nuclear ballistic missiles fired by it can travel up to a range of 3,500 kilometres.

At present, India operates a Russian nuclear-powered submarine called INS Chakra. This submarine is with India since 2012 on a 10-year leave.

Nuclear-capable ballistic missile submarines can remain underwater and undetected for a long time compared to conventional submarines. They have the capability to sail closer to the coast of the enemy nation and fire ballistic missiles deep into the territory.

It may be recalled here that India has expressly committed to the doctrine of Credible Minimum Deterrence and No First Use of nuclear weapons. It has also put in place a robust nuclear command and control structure.

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