The Indian Navy will receive a major boost with the deployment of its second ballistic missile submarine. The INS Arighat is in the final stages of sea trials and is likely to be commissioned into service in early 2021.
Arighat is the second of the indigenous Arihant-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile-carrying submarine (SSBN).
Sources in the defense and security establishment said the submarine has performed well during the sea trials so far, and added that the commissioning of the vessel was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Indian online newspaper The Print.
Once Arighat enters service, India will be operating two SSBNs that are equipped with the 750km-range K-15 ballistic missile, designed for retaliatory strikes in case of a nuclear attack.
The Arighat was quietly launched in November 2017 by the then Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Both INS Arihant, which is on operational deployment, and the Arighat have the capacity to carry four missiles each.
While the original plan was to have four Arihant class submarines, it was changed by the UPA government, sources in the know said.
Now, the two Arihant class submarines will have a displacement of 6,000 tons while two other SSBNs will be of a larger size (7,000 tons displacement).