In the turmoil of events in the Greater Middle East, shaken by bloody military conflicts, and volatility at global economic sites, which have a strong negative impact on the developed and developing countries of the world, an event that is capable of decisively influencing change in the medium and long term balance of power in the Indian Ocean region, and even more generally.
The fact is that not so long ago, the military-political leadership (CDF) of the Republic of India announced that the first atomic submarine (APL), armed with ballistic missiles with an underwater launch, had reached a state of full combat readiness. So far, of course, the missiles with a range of only 750 km, but Indian specialists and military are already working to integrate aboard a submarine of a new class for the national naval forces (Navy) and combat missiles with a range of several thousand kilometers. And this is an application for joining an elite club of states that have a maritime component of strategic nuclear forces.
Indian naval experts and representatives of the command of the national naval forces have repeatedly stressed that nuclear submarines have such a huge combat potential and allow us to solve such a wide range of tasks that they can have a truly strategic influence.
Moreover, in their opinion, for the Indian Navy, one of the most important tasks of which is to strike at a potential enemy’s land (primarily Pakistan and China, of course), the presence of submarines armed with ballistic and cruise missiles precision shots from a long range, is a "mandatory, vital requirement."
For the first time, with a "brushstroke", the possibility of introducing the Indian fleet Nuclear submarines armed with cruise and / or ballistic missiles that can be equipped with nuclear warheads were mentioned by the Indian side in 1999, in a document entitled The Nuclear Triad, which is considered an unclassified part of India’s “preliminary” nuclear doctrine.
Possessor of nuclear weapons Delhi, we recall, became after carrying out 18 on May 1974 of the year at a special army training ground in Pokhran, Rajasthan, an underground test of a nuclear device with a capacity of about 8 qt, which received the code name "Smiling Buddha" or "Pokhran I".
The document emphasized that marine carriers of nuclear weapons are less vulnerable to means of detection and destruction of the enemy than aviation or ground, in the defeat of which significant casualties can also occur among civilians.
But the most important step, perhaps, was the adoption by Delhi of an ambitious maritime doctrine, which clearly demonstrated its firm intention to create the maritime component of the nuclear forces. The non-secret part of the 184 page document was published in June 2004 under the title “Maritime Doctrine of India”. It clearly states: naval forces are the most appropriate type of national armed forces in terms of the "effectiveness and capabilities" of possessing and using military weapons, and the preferred carrier of missiles with nuclear warheads are nuclear submarines. "In order to solve the tasks of strategic deterrence for the state, it is extremely important to have at its disposal nuclear submarines capable of carrying missiles with nuclear warheads," the document stated.
All these actions quite fit into the policy of “limited nuclear deterrence” implemented by the CDF of India and providing for the creation of compact strategic nuclear forces of land, air and sea bases, that is, the classical nuclear triad. Moreover, Indian military experts are firmly convinced that only a nuclear triad, which has the universality and multi-variant use of nuclear weapons, will ensure full nuclear deterrence and, if necessary, the most effective use of nuclear weapons.
In particular, retired Commodore Anil Jai Singh, who served for a long time in the submarine forces of the Indian Navy and held the post of naval attache in the Indian embassy in London, in the article “The Strategic Impact of Nuclear Submarines”, published at the beginning of 2012, in SP’s Naval Forces, pointed out: “One of the most important players on the fields of the Cold War were nuclear-powered submarines with ballistic missiles. The constant presence of a threat of a nuclear strike from an invisible carrier and the inability to effectively neutralize allowed the opponents to remain "cold" ... Nowadays, the Indian Ocean is becoming the scene of a new confrontation. Moreover, out of a dozen countries that openly declared that they have nuclear weapons, and countries that do not recognize their presence, but actually possess them or almost possessed them, six are located in Asia. China is located on the periphery of the Indian Ocean region, but has serious interests in the region, and countries such as Pakistan, North Korea, Israel and Iran see nuclear weapons as a vital necessity ... India is also the largest and most powerful country in the Indian Ocean region and therefore it must play a crucial role here. ”
The new edition of the Marine Doctrine of India, the unclassified 200-page of which was published on August 28 2009 of the year, signed by Navy Commander Admiral Surish Mehta, reaffirmed the importance of having nuclear weapons in the national Navy. And in the same year, July 26, the first underwater nuclear-powered ship of Indian engineering and construction, the head submarine in the series, which was built at the shipyard of the Shipbuilding Center in Vishakhapatnam, was launched. “Today we are among the five elected states capable of building nuclear submarines,” said Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh at a solemn ceremony on the occasion of the launch of the Arikhanta.
NAME MY "ARIKHANT"
Arihant (INS Arihant; S-73) is classified as an atomic submarine with ballistic missiles (SSBN). Translated from Sanskrit, her name means "Destroyer of enemies." The submarine is the lead ship of a series of nuclear-powered ships, the design and construction of which are carried out as part of the ATV program (Advanced Technology Vessel, can be translated as "Ship using advanced technologies").
The traditional Indian sailors coconut - instead of a bottle of champagne - on the board of the submarine "broke" the wife of the Indian Prime Minister Gursharan Kaur. “I call you the name“ Arikhant ”, the name“ Fighter of enemies ”, and I wish all the best to this submarine,” the premier’s wife said, opening a sign attached to the cabin of the nuclear-powered submarine. Manmohan Singh himself opened the solemn ceremony and delivered the main speech, highlighting the tremendous work done by the Vice-Admiral, D.S.P., director of the ATV program. Verma and his team. Special words of gratitude were expressed by the Russian specialists who provided invaluable assistance in the creation of the Indian SSBN. “I thank our Russian friends for their consistent and invaluable cooperation, symbolizing the close strategic partnership that we support with Russia,” the head of the Indian Cabinet stressed.
The ceremony was also attended by Arakkaparambil Defense Minister Kurian Anthony, Indian Minister of State for Military-Industrial Complex Pallam Raju, Indian Navy Commander Admiral Surish Mehta, as well as representatives of the Government of India and Andhra Pradesh, heads of various organizations that participated directly in this program .
Interestingly, the design and construction program for nuclear-powered Arihant-type aircraft turned out to be so secret (which is unusual for India by itself), and the security measures are so serious that the launch vehicle was not officially announced. As a result, the date of the laying of the Arikhant SSBN is still not exactly known today; it is believed that this happened in 1998 in the presence of Dr. Abdul Kalam, the head of DRDO and then the President of India. The descent of the Arikhanta into the water took place in a place closed from prying eyes, and it was forbidden for those present to take photographs and filming - only a couple of “government photographers” received permission for it. It is noteworthy that the date of launching the “Fighter of the enemies” was not chosen by chance - it was timed to the 10 anniversary of the victory of the Indian army in the Kargil war.
FROM "CLUB" TO "SAGARIKI"
The Arikhant SSBN has a full surface displacement of about 6000 m, maximum length 110 – 111 m, width 15 m and draft 11 m, declared working depth of the dive - 300 m, crew - 95 – 100 people.
In the forward part of the submarine are HAS, six 533-mm torpedo tubes - launchers of the Club-S missile complex, racks with ammunition (torpedoes and missiles of the Club-S RK - anti-ship, anti-submarine, and winged for attacking ground targets), central fasting, durable logging and, respectively, sliding devices, and outside - horizontal rudders.
In the middle part of the corps there are combat posts with various equipment and shipboard equipment, four launchers of ballistic missiles, etc.
Finally, in the aft of the hull of the submarine are equipment and apparatus of a nuclear power plant with a water-cooled nuclear reactor with a thermal power of 80 – 85 MW and a steam-turbine plant with a capacity of about 47 thousand hp, propeller shaft, etc., and outside the rudders and seven blade propeller.
The main weapon of the “Fighter of the enemies” is the K-15 “Sagarika” missile system developed by the specialists of the Organization for Defense Research and Development of India (DRDO). The submarine houses 12 of such missiles (three BR in each of the launchers), which, according to Indian sources, can be equipped with nuclear (17 – 150 CT) or conventional warheads.
The sea-based BR “Sagarika” (“Ocean”) was created with extensive use of the developments gained by Indian specialists during the programs of the BR “Prithvi” and KR “BrahMos”. Work on it has been going on since 1991, the rocket is a two-stage, solid propellant. The first launch from the ground stand - January 23 of the year 2004, the first launch from the underwater stand - February 26 of the year 2008, full range shooting - March 11 of the year 2012, and after launching from the underwater stand 23 of January 2013 of the year, the Sagarik BR was declared “ready to carrier integration. ”
The length of the rocket is about 10 m, the case diameter is 0,74 m, the starting mass is about 6 – 7 t, the CWO is about 25 m, the firing range is up to 750 km, the mass of the payload is up to 1000 kg. A number of Indian sources indicate that the developer takes measures to increase the firing range to 1300 – 2500 km by reducing the mass of the warhead. Appropriate technical assistance has been reportedly requested from Israel and Russia. The rocket is stored in a composite transport and launch container with a diameter of 2,4 m, launch - from a submerged position.
Interestingly, Sandip Annitan’s Secret Underwater Weapon article, published in January 2008, in India Today, quoted the words of the rear admiral, Raji Menon, that “the submarine carries at least 12 missiles, each with a HOSP-IN , which together gives 96 warheads. " This is a very significant statement. Neither before nor after the Indian sources did not mention about MIRV IN for K-15 missiles. However, a number of experts were skeptical of the words of the retired admiral.
In the long run, it is planned to deploy four K-4 BRs with a firing range of at least 3500 km, which DRDO is working on, on the SSBN. Indian sources indicate that the BR K-4, which, like the BR K-15, is being developed as part of the “black program” called “The K-family missile program,” has a launch mass of 17 – 20, length 12 m and The 1 – 2,5 tons of warheads. The first launch of the missile from an underwater stand was made on March 24 of the year.
In the framework of this “black program”, work is also being carried out on a K-5-type boat BR with a range of 5000 km.
TO FIGHT AND WALK READY
10 August 2013, the Indian specialists completed the physical launch of the Arihant reactor, and on December 13, the 2014 of the submarine was spotted going to sea for tests, during which firing of the BR and KR, as well as deep-sea tests. The latter were provided by the crew of the Russian rescue ship Epron from the Black Sea Fleet, which arrived in the Vishakhapatnam area 1 of October 2015. It was necessary to attract "Epron" due to the lack of ships of this class in India.
25 November 2015 of the year from the board of the Arikhanta was the first launch of the Sagarika BR, and by the beginning of February 2016, the test program was completed. February 23 Indian SSBN was declared "ready for operations." It was expected that the nuclear-powered vessel will take part in the International Naval Parade, but then “for reasons of safety and secrecy” refused this step.
The next stage in the life of the “Fighter of enemies” should be its official entry into the combat strength of the Indian Navy, and then - access to the first combat service. This is expected to happen this year. In the meantime, Indian sources reported the commissioning of a communications center with SSBNs in service. In the near future, a new naval base “Varsha”, which is being built on the east coast of the country, near the port of Kakinada, should be put into operation, where it is planned to deploy “Arikhant” and two serial SSBNs in special shelters, which will differ from the head in large dimensions and modernized onboard systems. In the future, it is planned to increase the number of SSBNs to five, as well as create a new multi-purpose submarine - to develop and build six such submarines in 2015, it was decided to allocate 900 billion rupees, which is 13,58 billion dollars at the current rate.