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India SSN and SSBN Programs

Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:33 pm

Following the commissioning of the INS Arihant in 2014, a slew of new activity has now become public. The INS Arihant was India's first SSBN, launched in 2009, commissioned 2014, and is a >6000ton ballistic missile submarine with a unique 4 main silo configuration operating either 4 medium/long range K-4 SLBMs, or 12 shorter range K-15 SLBMs, three per silo in a revolver setup. Now more submarines have been formally revealed:

Version 1
INS Arihant, in service
INS Arighat: similar configuration as INS Arihant, launched Dec 2017

Version 2
Two SSBNs, both 1000-1500 tons heavier, with 8 silos. Due for launch 2020 and 2022 respectively. First probably called INS Aridhaman

Version 3
New 13500-ton SSBN with at least 12 silos, armed with the K-5 long range SLBMs. First to launch around 2025. Total number unknown, but probably at least 2.

Meanwhile, IN seems to have given up the plan for a new line of SSKs built in India, and a new building program has been commission to build 6 new SSNs. Meanwhile, the Kalvari (Scorpene) class SSK continues to be built at Mumbai's Mazagon Docks, with 1 in service, 2 launched and 3 under construction. The 6 SSNs replace the earlier plan to build 6 more SSKs.

After the initial teething troubles - INS Arihant was the first submarine ever designed and built in India, literally the first ever, not just first SSBN - the submarine building program has picked up pace, with an increasing focus on nuclear propulsion.

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