India Joins Nuclear Triad With INS Arihant: What Does This Mean?

With the induction of INS Arihant, India has officially become a nuclear triad. The indigenously constructed nuclear submarine will be starting its operations shortly, now that all the extensive tests have been completed. Armed with INS Arihant, India is now capable of launching nuclear missiles from land, air, and sea.

The official announcement was made with sources from the Indian Defense Ministry confirming that the 6000-tonne nuclear submarine had been commissioned by Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Landa back in August.

INS Arihant during a routine test
INS Arihant is the first of three nuclear submarines with long-range ballistic missiles that will be constructed.

What It Means

INS Arihant empowers India with the ability to respond to nuclear strikes from land, air, and sea-based systems and provides the critical second-strike capability in accordance with the “no-first-use” nuclear policy.

With the induction of INS Arihant, India joins United States, Russia, and China, the only officially confirmed nuclear triads in the world.

The INS Arihant will reportedly be armed with 466 miles ranged K-15 Sagarika missiles due to be replaced later by the K-4 missiles with a max range of 2200 miles.

In the release, the Defense Ministry also thanked Russia for aiding with the design of the on-board nuclear reactor which is based on the Russian Akula-1 class submarines.

Plan For The Future

Arihant is the first of three nuclear-powered submarines that will be completed in the near future. The second nuclear vessel, dubbed INS Aridhaman is scheduled to be completed by 2018.

The news release comes as a relief for the nation following the growing concerns over the heavy presence of Chinese nuclear submarines in the Indian Ocean.

The presence of Arihant will hopefully act as a deterrent against threats of nuclear aggression by China and Pakistan. While a nuclear strike will certainly be horrific, there is solace in the fact the world’s largest democracy will be able to survive and respond to threats appropriately.

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