Parrikar to flag off Arihant sea trials?

December 15, 2014 12:49 am | Updated April 07, 2016 05:06 am IST - VISAKHAPATNAM:

Manohar Parrikar is arriving in the city on Monday on his first visit after taking over as the Defence Minister.

During his short visit, the Defence Minister is scheduled to visit the Indian Navy’s premier operational command the Eastern Naval Command.

He is likely to inspect the indigenously built nuclear-powered ballistic submarine INS Arihant that has completed its harbour trials and is set for sea trial.

Recent statement of Admiral R.K. Dhowan that INS Arihant would commence its sea trials ‘soon’ combined with the presence of top officials of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and Nuclear Power Corporation in the city has given rise to speculation that the Minister’s visit is to flag off the sea trials. However, Naval sources could not confirm the schedule of the Defence Minister. The project is reportedly monitored directly by the Prime Minister’s Office and the programme is scheduled from New Delhi.

INS Arihant was launched on July 26, 2009 and its onboard 83MW nuclear reactor went critical in August 2013. The submarine has completed the harbour trials and after completing sea trials it would be commissioned into the Indian Navy.

INS Arihant would be the main draw during the International Fleet Review scheduled to be held in Visakhapatnam in February 2016.

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