With INS Arihant, India can now launch nuclear missiles from air, land and sea: ReportsOctober 18, 2016
India has joined a set of very few countries that have their own nuclear triads – the ability to launch nuclear weapons from air, land and water – with the commissioning of INS Arihant, reports said. The Arihant, India’s first indigenously built naval ship, was reportedly commissioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in August this year, after it was declared ready for operations in February.
The ship can carry nuclear tipped ballistic missiles or Ship Submersible Ballistic Nuclears, The Hindu reported. SSBNs, which are capable of lurking undetected in deep sea levels for months, can carry nuclear weapons and provide India with what is known as a second strike capability, or the capability to strike back after a nuclear attack from another nation. According to NewsX, Pakistan has a “first strike” policy, by which it can attack any country with its nuclear arsenal first, if necessary.
Besides the INS Arihant, two other such ships are also being constructed, The Times of India reported. The construction of these began under the ATV, or advanced technology vessel programme launched “decades ago”, the daily said. INS Aridhaman, the next of these naval vessels, is likely to be completed by 2018.
India’s land-based Agni missiles and fighter bombers have been able to launch nuclear missiles for some years now, the report added.
The reports come as ties between India and Pakistan have worsened since the the September 18 attack on an Indian Army base in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri sector. While India believes Pakistan was involved in the attack, Islamabad maintains that there is no evidence to support the accusation. The Indian Army announced on Thursday, September 29, that it carried out “surgical strikes against terror launchpads” in along the LoC.