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India’s Nuclear Triad

India’s Nuclear Triad

India’s Nuclear Triad denotes the ability to deploy nuclear weapons via aircraft, land-based ballistic missiles, and submarine-launched missiles. India confirmed that its nuclear triad is good to go after its own INS Arihant completed a successful patrol, showing that they’re serious about nuclear deterrence. They’ve set up a solid system to control everything nuclear, making sure politicians keep an eye on things and safety measures are tight.

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  • INS Arihant, equipped with nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles, completed a nearly month-long nuclear deterrence patrol.
  • India views INS Arihant as a means to assert its sovereignty in water territories, in addition to land and air.
  • By achieving this capability, India joins a select group of nations — the United States, Russia, China, France, and the United Kingdom.
  • The successful nuclear deterrence patrol of Arihant marks India’s mastery over intricate systems and procedures.
  • INS Arihant’s accomplishment reinforces India’s security needs, especially considering its policy of ‘No-First-Use‘ (NFU) in nuclear warfare, where the SSBN serves as a dependable platform for second-strike capability.
  • SSBNs, designed for stealthy operations in deep ocean waters, are crucial for carrying nuclear weapons.
  • With their nuclear-powered propulsion, these submarines can remain submerged indefinitely, avoiding detection by adversaries.
  • In comparison, land-based and air-launched platforms are more vulnerable to detection.

Landmark Development

  • India’s recent demonstration of its ability to launch nuclear weapons from land, air, and now underwater showcases its comprehensive nuclear capability.
  • This development enhances the credibility of India’s nuclear deterrence strategy, deterring potential adversaries.
  • It sends a clear message that attempts at nuclear blackmail will not succeed against India.
  • The initiation of nuclear deterrence patrols marks India’s evolution into a mature nuclear-armed nation.
  • This achievement reflects India’s advanced technological capabilities and underscores its prowess in engineering.
  • The successful execution of this exercise highlights India’s significant indigenous contributions to its nuclear program.

INS Arihant

  • The Arihant class of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, led by the INS Arihant, signifies a significant advancement in India’s defense capabilities, ensuring national security.
  • INS Arihant stands as India’s first domestically designed and constructed nuclear-powered submarine, representing a milestone in the country’s naval engineering prowess.
  • Equipped with K-15 Sagarika missiles boasting a range of 750 km, INS Arihant possesses formidable offensive capabilities.
  • INS Arihant holds the distinction of possessing the longest missile range among submarines within the Indian Navy’s fleet.
  • Following in the footsteps of INS Arihant, the second submarine in the series, INS Arihant, is presently undergoing sea trials, marking the final stages before its induction into active service.

The INS Arighat represents an enhanced iteration of the Arihant-class submarine series and stands as India’s second nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine. It is being constructed as part of the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project, dedicated to nuclear submarine development, at the Ship Building Centre in Visakhapatnam.

In March 2019, India and Russia inked an agreement for the lease of another Akula-class nuclear submarine to India for a duration of 10 years. Dubbed the Chakra-III, this new vessel is slated for delivery to the Indian Navy by 2025.

The Arihant-class submarines, named after the Sanskrit term for “Slayer of Enemies“, signify a crucial component of India’s naval arsenal. These vessels, part of India’s ₹90,000 crore (US$13 billion) ATV initiative, are crucial for enhancing the country’s strategic maritime capabilities, particularly as ‘strategic strike nuclear submarines‘.

Capabilities at a Glance

  • Total Submarines in Fleet: 16
  • Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBNs): 1
  • Nuclear-Powered attack submarines (SSNs): 1
  • Diesel-electric attack submarines (SSKs): 14
  • Air-independent propulsion (AIP) enabled: 0


India began discussing nuclear-powered submarines in the 1960s, launching the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) program officially in 1983. This program is a key part of India’s sea-based nuclear deterrent, along with airborne and land-based platforms, managed by DRDO, DAE, and the Indian Navy in Visakhapatnam. In August 2016, INS Arihant was commissioned, marking a milestone in India’s nuclear triad. Two new submarine bases are under construction: Karwar, 500 kilometers south of Mumbai, and INS Varsha, a covert base near Kakinada, featuring underground pens.

Read also: List of Indian Navy – Aircraft, Submarines and Aircraft Carriers

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