Arikhant - Indian hybrid of "Skata" and "Varshavyanka"
Not so long ago, military experts in many countries were literally taken aback - India will become the owner of its own nuclear submarine. Currently, the Indian Navy has only diesel submarines manufactured in Russia, Germany and France. In addition, negotiations are underway to lease the Nerpa submarine, produced in Russia in the 2006 year. It was originally planned to transfer "Nerpa" India in October 2011. It was later decided to move this date to the first quarter of 2012 of the year.
According to experts, the design of the boat is based on the Soviet project 670 "Skat". When creating “Arikhanta”, Indian engineers also used the structural elements of the more modern diesel project 877 “Varshavyanka”. Indian seamen are well acquainted with both projects.
But the fact that India’s own nuclear submarine Arihant was built in India shocked specialists all over the world. During the construction, Russian experts were involved, thanks to which the submarine is the closest in its tactical and technical characteristics to the most modern boats of Russia.
Of course, such an event did not go unnoticed. For example, the government of Pakistan has already expressed disapproval, stating that the appearance of such a vessel could well upset the delicate balance that has been restored between the two countries. In addition, many countries on the coast of the Indian Ocean expressed concern.
Well, the "Arikhant" really is a submarine that can change the situation in the region. The fact is that it is equipped with Sagarik’s ballistic missiles manufactured in India. The number of missiles is 12 pieces. Given the maximum launch range of seven hundred kilometers, it becomes quite clear why the presence of a single submarine of its own in the fleet of India caused such a stir on the part of its neighbors.
According to experts, the crew for the Arikhant will be trained on board the Nerpa. Moreover, Russian specialists worked on both submarines, so in many ways they are really similar.
The nuclear reactor, installed on board the boat, has a power of 80 megawatts. It is also important that the autonomy of navigation of this boat is 90 days. This is very important if you consider the not too long range of the Sagarik missiles, which are its main armament. Due to such autonomy, the boat can dive off the coast of India, to later emerge in thousands of kilometers, make just a few shots and again dissolve in the depths of the ocean.
A boat can reach surface speed up to 15 nodes. About the maximum underwater speed between the experts are heated hot debate - from 24 to 34 nodes. The length of the boat is also quite impressive - 110 meters with crew in 95 people.
It is quite clear that the boat with such a reserve of autonomy and such powerful armament caused the concern of the authorities of Pakistan, with which India has historically developed very strained relations. However, India’s neighbors can console themselves with the fact that the main target for missiles will soon be ... China. Yes, this is exactly what many military experts think. Of course, while in the Indian Ocean, the Arikhant cannot get its missiles to China due to the relatively short range of the battle. But it is precisely due to the high autonomy of the nuclear submarine that it is quite possible to sneak unnoticed into the coastal waters of the PRC and deliver a truly crushing blow that can destroy many of the largest cities.
Of course, not the fact that the relations between the two countries with the largest population in the world can be so heated. For example, now they are in a state of mutually beneficial cooperation - the trade turnover between them is approximately 40 billion dollars per year.
At the moment, the Arihant submarine is to undergo a series of tests, and by the year of 2012 it will become clear how well it meets the needs of the military. If the requests are fully satisfied, at least four more similar nuclear submarines will be built. At least, it was on such a number of boats that a contract was concluded.
Thus, if India really acquires a fleet of five own nuclear submarines, to which it is worth adding the Nerpa submarine, which will be leased to it for 9 years, it will become a considerable force in this region. Moreover, with the non-intervention of the major powers, India will be able to fully control the sea routes in almost the entire Indian Ocean.
Until now, India did not have such power at sea. Therefore, even experts are not taken to judge what consequences this may have on both India’s foreign policy and world politics as a whole.
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