Indian Nuclear Submarine Plans: New S5 Class Submarines is Coming?

Sandeep Unnithan. Exec Editor, India Today who was first broke stories on development of INS Arihant and development of K-15 and K-4 Submarine Launched Ballistic missile has revealed, more about India’s Nuclear Submarine Plans and has confirmed that INS Aridhaman which will be India’s Second Ballistic Missile Submarine will be stretched Arihant Class ship which has double the Missile carrying capabilities and is unlikely to be called Arihant sister ship rather will be known as Aridhaman lead ship of a new SSBN Class .

Sister ship of Aridhaman which will be similar to the lead ship Aridhaman currently is designated as S4 and another follow on Sister Class dubbed as S4* (Plus) will make up Three Aridhaman Ballistic Missile Class Submarine fleet of Indian Navy.

Unnithan also confirms that India Navy already has started working on the successor of Aridhaman Ballistic Missile Class Submarine at least a decade ago and new larger Ballistic Missile Class which will be designated as S5 and will be as big as Ohio class nuclear-powered submarines currently used by the United States Navy. It is unclear how many S5 sister class ships will be developed at this point in time but the construction of the new class of SSBN is yet to commence and it is likely will go on the floor for nearly a decade from now.


India will be having a fleet of following numbers of Nuclear Submarines in near future :
1 SSBN’s of Arihant Class +3 SSBN’s of Aridhaman  Class + S5 SSBN’s apart from 6 new SSN’s + INS Chakra and 1 more to be leased from Russia.

Last year Indian Navy was given go head to start design work on the development of Six new Nuclear attack Class Submarines which will be developed in parallel to the Ballistic Missile Class Submarine Fleet so that work on both the projects will continue independently.

Unnamed Six Nuclear attack Class Submarines SSN are required to be much stealthier to do sneak attack and surveillance roles and it is reported that construction of Scorpene class Diesel attack submarines in India has helped Naval Design Bureau a lot in obtaining technical know how to better understand and develop stealthier hull.

The SSN are designed to track down and defeat both, the SSBN and the enemy aggression. These submarines are used in the attack of particular targets on land by the launch of the fast missiles by use of the torpedo tubes.

The Submersible Ship Nuclear carries the cruise missile with explosives which are used to attack the assailants within the shores. The other purpose of the submarine ship is to conduct surveillance, perform and complete intelligence missions, so they can offer aid in highly classified operations. The size of this ship is moderately big. The SSN is used to make attacks to assailants in the nearby distance. It is considered war prone and looks for enemy ships to destroy them

INS Aridhaman

INS Aridhaman is the second Arihant-class submarine.She is the second nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine being built by India. She is being built under the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project to build nuclear submarines at the Ship Building Centre in Visakhapatnam. This submarine will have double the number of missile hatches than its predecessor INS

Arihant giving it the ability to carry more missiles. This will have a more powerful reactor than its predecessor.

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What makes INS Aridhaman more deadlier than its predecessor INS Arihant :::

INS Aridhaman is the second nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine being built by India. She is being built under the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project to build nuclear submarines at the Ship Building Centre in Visakhapatnam. Even though the same class as INS Arihant, she will feature 8 launch tubes instead of the 4 giving her double the firepower of Arihant. Thus she could carry 24 K-15 Sagarika short range SLBMs or 8 K-4 long range SLBMs.

She will also feature more powerful reactor than her predecessor.

The boat will have a seven-blade propeller powered by a pressurised water reactor. She can achieve a maximum speed of 12–15 knots (22–28 km/h) on water surface and 24 knots (44 km/h) underwater.

The submarine has eight launch tubes in its hump. She can carry up to 24 K-15 Sagarika missiles (each with a range of 750 km or 470 mi), or 8 of the under-development K-4 missiles (with a range of 3,500 km or 2,200 mi).

INS Aridhaman will be fitted with the sonar ISS (Integrated Sonar Suite), state-of-the-art sonar developed by NPOL DRDO. It is a unified submarine sonar and tactical control system, which includes all types of sonar (passive, surveillance, ranging, intercept, obstacle avoidance and active). It also features an underwater communications system. The hull features twin flank-array sonars and Rafael broadband expendable anti-torpedo countermeasures.

To accommodate this expanding fleet, work is underway on a new naval base on India’s Eastern Coast at Rambilli in the state of Andhra Pradesh, called INS Varsha. The new base is specifically designed to host nuclear submarines, both SSBNs and SSNs, and is only 50 km away from the port city of Vishakhapatnam that is home to the Shipbuilding Centre (SBC) that integrates India’s nuclear submarines. This base will likely feature de-gaussing facilities as well as underground submarine pens linked to open water by access tunnels. The onset of a deep diving nuclear submarine fleet has also played a role in

India’s Cabinet Committee of Security according final approval to a long pending proposal for the procurement of two deep submergence rescue vessels (DSRVs). The two new DSRVs cleared for procurement from a U.K.-based firm will be hosted by two new submarine tender ships currently under construction at a public shipyard. India last operated a DSRV in 1989 called INS Nistar when it had just started operating its first nuclear boat, a Charlie class SSN leased from the Soviet Union.

Like China’s massive nuclear submarine base at Hainan Island, the depth of water at Rambilli will allow submarines to use the base without being detected by satellites. This secrecy is crucial for SSBNs, which must remain undetected when they leave for months long patrols, carrying nuclear tipped ballistic missiles.

For years, the ministry of defence (MoD) has refused to acknowledge the existence of the base.

While the Arihant will naturally serve as a training platform for crews that will man its successor boats, just as the Chakra has been used to train the Arihant’s crew, like the latter it too will perform direct security missions. The Arihant’s reactor could be considered to be similar to late second generation VM series submarine reactors given acknowledged Russian assistance in this sphere. Such reactors needed refueling every 7-10 years at normal power consumption levels and the core lifetimes are sufficient for up to 5000 hours of journeying. This would be adequate for limited deterrence missions in potential patrol areas. Indeed, as the then IN Chief of Staff, Nirmal Verma stated in 2010, “India’s nuclear triad is there when it is commissioned,” indicating clear intent to mount deterrence patrols using the Arihant.

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At the time of the Arihant’s launch in 2009, the outgoing Russian ambassador to India, Vyacheslav Trubinikov, noted that its design was based on the Akula class boats. Now if this were a reference to the Arihant’s level of quietening, it could mean that the boat was quieter than both China’s Shang Class SSNs as well as its Jin Class SSBN’s, if one were to go by the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence’s 2009 rankings about the degree of stealth exhibited by these boats. In any event, active noise cancellation technologies are likely to find their way into the Arihant’s successors, making them more difficult to detect.

K-4 Missile

DRDO officials say that the K-4 will be ready for induction before the end of the decade. This is because most technologies, including the sophisticated guidance packages, were already perfected while developing the shorter range K-15 SLBM. Defence officials, however, are cautious because despite a history of missile expertise, Russia has witnessed multiple failures of its new Bulava SLBM. In the works is an as yet unnamed longer-legged variant of the K-4 with a 5,000-km range. The 12-m long missile is meant to arm future nuclear submarines.

The K-4 is tailor-made for second-strike purposes. According to the New Indian Express, the missile has the advantage of a hypersonic cruise speed and uses an innovative system of weaving in three dimensions as it flies towards its target, making it an exceptionally difficult target for anti-ballistic missile systems and other air defense systems. Other features of the K-4 include its high accuracy, with an alleged near-zero circular error probable (CEP).

The abilities of the K-4 are set to allow India to deter China with greater credibility. While Pakistan is a concern for India, its relative lack of strategic depth and India’s massive conventional advantage have pushed Indian thinking on nuclear matters towards China in recent year. With the K-4-equipped INS Arihant, India has a survivable second-strike capability against China. The Arihant can reportedly carry four K-4 missiles (or 12 of the less-advanced K-15 missiles). The first Arihant-class submarine is undergoing sea trials in 2014 and will be succeeded by three additional boats, expected to be in commission by 2023.

INS Varsha Naval Base ::

Also the work on INS Varsha is on full swing according to recent satellite images. INS Varsha is a new naval base being developed under Project Varsha for the Indian Navy. This base will be the home of the navy’s new fleet of nuclear submarines and ships. It is designed to support the fleet of 8-12 nuclear-powered ballistic missile and attack submarines to be built for the Indian Navy. It will also have underground pens to hide the submarines from spy satellites and protect them from enemy air attacks.





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