The navy is firing on all cylinders to get a headstart on operating nuclear submarines, the most complex machines to be ever built. Indian submariners will get a chance to get into the belly of HMS Talent when the British nuclear submarine pulls into Indian waters off the western coast in June.
A senior navy officer said, “The British hunter-killer submarine is armed with the world’s most advanced sonar gear and weaponry. Our crews are looking forward to getting hands-on experience in operating nuclear submarines”
The 280-foot long Talent carries a crew of 122.
The navy hopes to induct its first indigenously-built nuclear submarine, INS Arihant, by the end of 2011. Arihant will complete the sea-leg of India’s nuclear triad and give it enduring nuclear strike and counter-strike capabilities. India can carry out nuclear strikes with fighter planes and land-launched missiles.
The navy is also on the verge of commissioning the K152 Nerpa Akula-II nuclear submarine being leased from Russia for 10 years. The US, Russia, the UK, France and China are the only countries that can deliver nuclear warheads from a submarine.
The officer said, “We’d like to gain as much experience as we can in operating these complex machines. Working alongside other navies helps.”