New Delhi, April 30: The Indian vy chief, Admiral R.K. Dhowan, said on Thursday that the sea trials of India’s first indigenous nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, INS Arihant, are going “very well”. “The trials are underway and going on very well. We are satisfied with the way the project is progressing,” Adm. Dhowan told reporters on the sidelines of two-day tiol Aviation Semir to mark 62 years of val aviation in the country. While stating there are “no problems in the INS Arihant project”, he could not give a “timeline” on the completion of trials. The 6,000-tonne submarine, designed on the Russian Akula-1 class vessel, began its sea trials last December. The submarine’s 83 MW pressurized light-water reactor attained “criticality” in 2013 while it was undergoing harbour trials at Visakhapatm. INS Arihant, the lead ship of Arihant-class of submarines, was launched in 2009.
Once inducted, the submarine will help India complete its nuclear triad - the capability to respond to nuclear strikes from sea, land and air-based systems. Talking about the trials of the first indigenously-built Scorpene submarine, Adm. Dhowan said the “endeavour was to see that the programme continues without any obstacle so that the commissioning of the first submarine is done next year as per the plan”. Asked about the second indigenous aircraft carrier, Adm. Dhowan said that under the joint working group on aircraft carrier design with the US, the Indian vy has “done some work to prepare the approach paper” but that it was still “too premature to say in which direction it goes”. “All options regarding the type of aircraft carrier, tonge, type of propulsion, aircraft to be embarked and so on are being considered in the approach paper. (IANS)