In a major milestone to further boost the country’s strategic strike capabilities, India’s nuclear-powered submarine INS Arihant on Friday carried out a successful launch of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) in the Bay of Bengal.
Why is the Launch Considered as a Significant Development?
The missile was tested to a predetermined range and impacted the target area in the Bay of Bengal with “very high accuracy”. All operational and technological parameters of the weapon system have been validated, the Defence Ministry said.
It said a “robust, survivable and assured retaliatory" capability is in sync with the country’s policy to have ‘credible minimum deterrence’ that underpins its ‘no first use’ commitment.
“The successful user training launch of the SLBM by INS Arihant is significant to prove crew competency and validate the SSBN programme, a key element of India’s nuclear deterrence capability," the defence ministry added.
All About INS Arihant
Launched in July 2009, INS Arihant is India’s first home-made nuclear submarine which was commissioned in 2016. INS Arihant (SSBN 80), a designated S2 Strategic Strike Nuclear Submarine, was built under the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project at the Ship Building Centre in the port city of Visakhapatnam, India Today reported.
It is the first time that the government announced the launch of an SLBM from INS Arihant, according to Times of India. “INS Arihant is armed with the short-range K-15 missiles. Developmental trials of the K-4 SLBM (with a 3,500-km range) have been completed but it is yet to be fully inducted,” TOI reported citing a source said.
India’s ‘No First Use’ Doctrine Policy
India along with the US, the UK, Russia, France and China is among a select group of countries having nuclear-powered submarines. India has been advocating completing elimination of atomic weapons. In 1998, India conducted Pokhran-II nuclear tests but said that it carried out the tests to have ‘credible minimum deterrence’.
In 2003, the country officially came out with its nuclear doctrine that clearly elaborated on the ‘no first use’ policy.
(With Inputs from PTI)