26 July : India’s first indigenously built nuclear propelled strategic submarine named ‘Arihant’ meaning ‘Destroyer of the Enemies’ was launched today, 26 Jul 09, at the Ship Building Center, Visakhapatnam. India has thus joined a select group of nations which have the technological capability to build and operate nuclear propelled submarines.
The launch ceremony was attended by the prime Minister. Dr. Manmohan Singh, accompanied by Smt. Gursharan Kaur, Raksha Mantri Shri.AK Antony, Chief minister of Andhra Pradesh Dr. YS Rajasekhar Reddy, Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri MM Pallam Raju, Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Smt. D Purandareswari, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sureesh Mehta and high ranking officials from the Navy, Department of Atomic Energy, and Defence Research and Development Organisation.
On this occasion, the Prime Minister congratulated the Director General of the ATV (Advanced Technology vehicle) Program Vice Admiral DSP Verma (Retd) and all personnel associated with it for achieving this historic milestone in the country’s defence preparedness. He noted that they had overcome several hurdles and barriers to enable the country to acquire self reliance in the most advanced areas of defence technology. The Prime Minister made a special mention of the cooperation extended by Russia.
The Prime Minister stated that the Government is fully committed to ensuring the Defence of our national interests and the protection of our territorial integrity. The Government would render all support to the constant modernization of our defence forces and to ensuring that they remain at the cutting edge of technology.
The Raksha Mantri conveyed to the gathering that the industrial capacity, Know-how and trained manpower that has been built up will sustain the construction of not only strategic platforms but will kick start a new age in ship construction in the country.
The ATV Program has spawned a new era in the field of cooperation between DRDO, BARC, Navy, PSUs and Private industry in which these organisations have synergized their efforts to achieve a significant technological and strategic milestone.
Following the launch, the submarine will undergo various trials before it is formally commissioned in the Indian Navy.