Arihant, bigger, more powerful

Compare photographs/videos of a Kilo-class SSK steaming out of harbour and the Arihant SSBN getting out of Vizag base and what do experts notice? In the main that the Arihant-class boat, not surprisingly, is a third longer and bulkier — it is, after all, a “boomer”for god’s sake! — more in the 9,000 tonne plus size than the 6,000 tonne plus, class. Derived from this observation is the logical conclusion that it would have to be driven by a bigger N-power plant than the 80MW-90 MW it’s been credited with. The HEU fueled Arihant reactor seems able to produce around 110 plus Megawatts of power. The bigger size and volume of the hybrid design vessel also means it can carry a larger reload of missiles and other on-board weapons. As to why the navy and GOI have consistently understated these various attributes of a strategic deterrent isn’t at all clear, except that this is the exact opposite tack to the one taken by Beijing and the Chinese Navy, which ballyhoo an armament in their employ even when it has proved all but useless, such as the Xia-class SSBNs that stayed in protected port conditions for most of their life until their decommisioning, now underway.

About Bharat Karnad

Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, he was Member of the (1st) National Security Advisory Board and the Nuclear Doctrine-drafting Group, and author, among other books of, 'Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy', 'India's Nuclear Policy' and most recently, 'Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)'. Educated at the University of California (undergrad and grad), he was Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, and Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
This entry was posted in Asian geopolitics, China, China military, Defence Industry, DRDO, Geopolitics, Great Power imperatives, India's strategic thinking and policy, Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Ocean, Military Acquisitions, Missiles, Nuclear Policy & Strategy, nuclear power, Nuclear Weapons, South Asia, Strategic Forces Command, Weapons. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Arihant, bigger, more powerful

  1. Itanium says:

    Bharat where are the pics sir? I am waiting to see one proper and clear pic of Arihant.

  2. ezeeyahoo says:

    Couldn’t it be Aridhaman?!?! which is said to be “being fitted” or under contstruction.

    “This submarine will have double the number of missile hatches than its’ predecessor INS Arihant giving it the ability to carry more missiles. This will have a more powerful reactor than its predecessor.”

  3. Nidhiram says:

    But somewhere it was mentioned three boats are of the same class and same size.

  4. Ashish Bagade says:

    Bharat Sir….so by 2025 we would be having 5 nuke SSBN’s???? and 10 SSN’s ???

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