India’s first indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant, or the “annihilator of enemies”, has successfully completed its first deterrence patrol.
Hailing INS Arihant’s achievement, PM Modi said “a credible nuclear deterrence is the need of the hour”.
“The success of INS Arihant is a big step towards strengthening national security. For the country’s enemies, it is an open challenge,” PM Modi said while addressing crew of INS Arihant which returned from the first deterrence patrol.
“I congratulate all those involved, especially the crew of INS Arihant for this accomplishment, which will always be remembered in our history,” PM Modi said, adding, “True to its name, INS Arihant will protect the 130 crore Indians from external threats and contribute to the atmosphere of peace in the region.”
“Today is historic because it marks the completing of the successful establishment of the nuclear triad. India’s nuclear triad will be an important pillar of global peace and stability,” the PM added.
While the Agni ballistic missiles and fighter-bombers constitute the first two legs, the triad’s missing underwater leg has for long troubled the country’s strategic establishment. Nuclear-powered submarines armed with nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles (SSBNs), after all, are considered the triad’s most difficult-to-detect and effective leg. There is also growing concern over China stepping up its submarine activity in the Indian Ocean.
INS Arihant’s 750km and 3,500km missiles may be somewhat dwarfed by SLBMs (submarine-launched ballistic missiles) with ranges of well over 5,000km with the US, Russia and China, but the completion of the nuclear-triad is critical for a country like India, which has a clearly declared policy of “no first-use” of nuclear weapons. It makes its second-strike capability much more credible.