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- INS Arihant is India’s first indigenously-designed, developed and manufactured nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine.
- It was designed in 1990s and its development project was officially acknowledged in 1998.
- Its design is based on the Russian Akula-1 class submarine.
- It was launched in 2009 and its nuclear reactor went critical in 2013 and it was commissioned in 2016.
- It is strategic asset developed for over two decades with Russia’s help under Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) programme, which comes directly under Nuclear Command Authority headed by the Prime Minister.
- INS Arihant is 6,000-tonne submarine with length of 110 metres and breadth of 11 metres.
- It is powered by 83 MW pressurised light water nuclear reactor with enriched uranium fuel.
- It can carry 12 Sagarika K 15 submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) having range of over 700 km.
- As it powered by nuclear reactor it can function submerged for months without having to surface.
- This feature allows it to travel further and with greater stealth capability.
- It assures second strike capability to India i.e. capability to strike back after being hit by nuclear weapons first.
- In case of India, second strike capability is important as it had committed to ‘No-First-Use’ policy as part of its nuclear doctrin