The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday congratulated scientists and defence personnel on the reactor on India’s first nuclear submarine INS Arihant going critical, calling it a “giant stride” in the progress of the country’s indigenous technological capabilities.

“I am delighted to learn that the nuclear propulsion reactor on board INS Arihant, India’s first indigenous nuclear powered submarine, has now achieved criticality,” the Prime Minister said in a statement.

“Today’s development represents a giant stride in the progress of our indigenous technological capabilities. It is testimony to the ability of our scientists, technologists and defence personnel to work together for mastering complex technologies in the service of our nation’s security,” he said.

Extending congratulations to all those associated with the important milestone, particularly the Department of Atomic Energy, the Indian Navy and the Defence Research and Development Organization, Dr. Singh said he looked forward to the early commissioning of INS Arihant.

In a major step towards completing its nuclear triad, India activated the atomic reactor on-board the indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant paving the way for its operational deployment by the Navy.

After the nuclear reactor is activated, the agencies concerned can work towards readying the warship for operational deployments soon.

INS Arihant has been undergoing trials at Navy’s key submarine base in Vishakhapatnam and would be launched for sea trials soon since the nuclear reactor has gone critical.

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