SOURCE: VISHAL KARPE / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
According to latest article by India Today, India last month launched its Second Nuclear submarine into the water in a low-key event held at Ship Building Centre (SBC) in Visakhapatnam. The article which was penned down by India’s foremost Defence Journalist Sandeep Unnithan who was first to break the story on India’s Secretive “K SLBM” Program which does bring some reliability in the picture due to his close association with India’s Nuclear submarine program over the years.
India has named its Second submarine INS Arighat and not INS Aridhaman as quite popularly known in the media for quite some time. Arighat is set to be a mirror copy of the lead Arihant class submarine, but with advancement and improvements in the submarine technology and not as speculated in media reports that second submarine will be larger and bigger than INS Arihant.
INS Arighat and INS Arihant both have a surface displacement of over 6000 tonnes and both are powered by same 83 MW Pressurized water reactor (PWR) developed by Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) clearly dismissing earlier speculations that Second submarine will have 1000 tonnes higher surface displacement and will be powered by more powerful Pressurized water reactor (PWR) .
INS Arighat will carry the same load of 12 × K-15 Sagarika submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) or 4 × K-4 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) as its main armaments but will be equipped with better communications equipment along with improved sonar suite over INS Arihant.
Submarine codenamed S4 might be INS Aridhaman which will be a lengthened version of INS Arighat and INS Arihant and will have a surface displacement of over 7000 and will be able to carry 24 K-15 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) or 8 × K-4 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) as its main armaments which still be powered by same reactor used on INS Arighat and INS Arihant and most likely to be launched by 2020.
The second submarine in the new stretched line will be S4* ( Star) which will carry further internal improvements yet will have similar outer dimensions of S4.
S5 will be a new line of SSBN which India is planning to develop with a surface displacement of over 13500 tonnes which will be powered by new 190 MW Pressurized water reactor (PWR) likely to be developed by Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in near future. Based on S5 Class SSBN India will develop nearly Six Sister ships.
Nuclear Attack Submarine
It seems India’s first line of Indigenous nuclear attack submarine will have more in common with Arihant class Ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) then Akula class nuclear attack submarines. As per report India’s six new nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSN) will borrow 83 MW Pressurized water reactor (PWR) from Arihant class and will have a similar surface displacement of over 6000 tonnes.
SSN will get some major design changes and improvements since their area of operations and the missions tasked will be completely different then SSBN. India’s SSN will be armed with Submarine launched Long ranged Sub-sonic Cruise missile based on Nirbhay and it is also likely will have Supersonic BrahMos SLCM as an option.