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“I am delighted to learn that the nuclear propulsion reactor on-board INS Arihant, India’s first indigenous nuclear powered submarine, has now achieved criticality,” said a statement from the Indian Prime Minister.
The nuclear submarine will help India achieve the capability of going into high seas without the need to surface the vessel for long durations.
This is a critical step in completing its nuclear triad and paves the way for its operational deployment by the Navy.
Nuclear triad is the ability to fire nuclear-tipped missiles from land, air and sea.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said this was a “giant stride” in the progress of the country’s indigenous technological capabilities.
“Today’s development represents a giant stride in the progress of our indigenous technological capabilities. It is testimony to the ability of our scientists, technologists and defence personnel to work together for mastering complex technologies in the service of our nation’s security,” Singh said in New Delhi.
Trials of INS Arihant have been held in the southern Indian naval port base in Vishakhapatnam.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is ready with a medium-range nuclear missile BO-5 for being deployed on the Arihant.
A new report published by international defence analysis firm IHS Jane’s said in July this year that India will spend $ 66.3 billion by 2020, ahead of Britain’s total defence spending.