Arihant-class SSBN - News & Discussions

Gautam

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Feb 16, 2019
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Either these kids have next-level eyesight or they see what they want to see.
There is something behind the hull of that sub. I have seen many low res sat images of the Arihant class over the years but this is a unique silhouette. There is something there. A pumpjet seems unlikely but not impossible.

Submarines are launched with a shroud/cover on their propeller blades. This is done to hide the number of blades & the blade geometry. These details can be used by enemies to estimate the noise pattern of the submarine. To avoid that propeller blades are covered in a shroud (usually made of water-resistant fabric like tarpaulin) during the launch ceremony. The shroud is taken off once the sub is in water as the blades are hidden underwater. This is standard submarine building practice.

Except in this case there is no official launch ceremony. No media was present, there isn't even an official confirmation that the launch even happened. All we have now are some satellite photos. There will be no pics released to the media as was the case with the INS Arihant & the INS Arighat. The Navy is very secretive about the Arihant class.

So what's the point of a shroud here ? Who are you hiding it from ? There is no one there to photograph it anyway. Also the sat pics show the sub in water the shrouds should be taken off once in water. Why is it still on ?

The shroud also appears much much bigger in proportion to the sub than normal. So either the S4 has abnormally large propeller blades or this is a pumpjet. Neither of those 2 conclusions add up. Abnormally large propellers mean larger acoustic signature, why would you what that ?

On the other hand if this is a pumpjet, then where did we get it ? The French have only recently offered us their pumpjet tech, even that is not confirmed. Was DRDO working on one by themselves before the current 35 MWe pumpjet project came up ?

So the DRDO developed a pumpjet (presumably not as powerful as the upcoming 35 MWe model), tested it & put it on one of the most prized assets of the Navy all in absolute secrecy & in the course of just a couple of years ? Our research work into pumpjets started with the Shakti thermal torpedo. That torpedo project was cancelled by the Navy but the R&D work continued. Either they were in a far more advanced state of progress than what I estimated when the 35 MWe pumpjet tender came out or we had some foreign help.


There are other discrepancies with the the silhouette seen here. This is what the Arighat (S3) looks like:
1640843930166.png

We know the Arihant (S2) & the S3 are exact copies of each other, the S4 & S4* are different. The last 2 are heavier, not much else is known.

Notice in the pic above there is a vertical rudder behind the sub hull. Compare that with the pic in the tweet. No vertical rudder on that sub. Where did it go ? Did we shorten it so much that it is underwater ? Or have we replaced the vertical rudder with a X-rudder configuration ?

The S4 & S4* are clearly more than just stretched Arihant class. They are different in their design & the technologies used. I think I am speculating a lot but we won't have any official details on these subs for years to come. Speculation is the only thing left to do.
 

Chain Smoker

Well-Known member
Mar 2, 2020
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india
There is something behind the hull of that sub. I have seen many low res sat images of the Arihant class over the years but this is a unique silhouette. There is something there. A pumpjet seems unlikely but not impossible.

Submarines are launched with a shroud/cover on their propeller blades. This is done to hide the number of blades & the blade geometry. These details can be used by enemies to estimate the noise pattern of the submarine. To avoid that propeller blades are covered in a shroud (usually made of water-resistant fabric like tarpaulin) during the launch ceremony. The shroud is taken off once the sub is in water as the blades are hidden underwater. This is standard submarine building practice.

Except in this case there is no official launch ceremony. No media was present, there isn't even an official confirmation that the launch even happened. All we have now are some satellite photos. There will be no pics released to the media as was the case with the INS Arihant & the INS Arighat. The Navy is very secretive about the Arihant class.

So what's the point of a shroud here ? Who are you hiding it from ? There is no one there to photograph it anyway. Also the sat pics show the sub in water the shrouds should be taken off once in water. Why is it still on ?

The shroud also appears much much bigger in proportion to the sub than normal. So either the S4 has abnormally large propeller blades or this is a pumpjet. Neither of those 2 conclusions add up. Abnormally large propellers mean larger acoustic signature, why would you what that ?

On the other hand if this is a pumpjet, then where did we get it ? The French have only recently offered us their pumpjet tech, even that is not confirmed. Was DRDO working on one by themselves before the current 35 MWe pumpjet project came up ?

So the DRDO developed a pumpjet (presumably not as powerful as the upcoming 35 MWe model), tested it & put it on one of the most prized assets of the Navy all in absolute secrecy & in the course of just a couple of years ? Our research work into pumpjets started with the Shakti thermal torpedo. That torpedo project was cancelled by the Navy but the R&D work continued. Either they were in a far more advanced state of progress than what I estimated when the 35 MWe pumpjet tender came out or we had some foreign help.


There are other discrepancies with the the silhouette seen here. This is what the Arighat (S3) looks like:
View attachment 22312
We know the Arihant (S2) & the S3 are exact copies of each other, the S4 & S4* are different. The last 2 are heavier, not much else is known.

Notice in the pic above there is a vertical rudder behind the sub hull. Compare that with the pic in the tweet. No vertical rudder on that sub. Where did it go ? Did we shorten it so much that it is underwater ? Or have we replaced the vertical rudder with a X-rudder configuration ?

The S4 & S4* are clearly more than just stretched Arihant class. They are different in their design & the technologies used. I think I am speculating a lot but we won't have any official details on these subs for years to come. Speculation is the only thing left to do.
Here both the submarines tail is hidden under water so we can't tell superficially
20211230_121753.jpg
 

Gautam

Moderator
Feb 16, 2019
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Tripura, NE, India
Here both the submarines tail is hidden under water so we can't tell superficially
It think it is due to the angle & the poor quality of the image. Here is a very old photo of the Arihant :
Screenshot (852).png

Notice the vertical rudder is barely visible. The photo is taken around noon so the shadow is pretty small. If this image was of a lower resolution then the tail would be indistinguishable from the sea.

The S3 will be officially commissioned in August 2022. Let's see if we get more info &/or photos then.
 

Chain Smoker

Well-Known member
Mar 2, 2020
744
592
india
It think it is due to the angle & the poor quality of the image. Here is a very old photo of the Arihant :
View attachment 22315
Notice the vertical rudder is barely visible. The photo is taken around noon so the shadow is pretty small. If this image was of a lower resolution then the tail would be indistinguishable from the sea.

The S3 will be officially commissioned in August 2022. Let's see if we get more info &/or photos then.
According to sandeep sir there is no Modification in reactor its same one used in arihant.
 

Gautam

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Feb 16, 2019
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Tripura, NE, India
@Chain Smoker This is what the Covert Shores guys are saying :


1640870969742.png


Indian Navy's Third Ballistic Missile Submarine Doubles Missile Armament​


Wed 29 December 2021

The quiet launch of India's 3rd Arihant Class ballistic missile submarine (SSBN), S-4 (as-yet unnamed), did not go unnoticed. Satellite images confirm that it is much longer than the first two boats of the class.

Analysis of high resolution satellite images seen by me (I got them via OSINT, but I am unsure whether the satellite provider intended them to be public so I am not posting them here) suggests that it is about 20 meters longer overall. The forward hull, sail and stern appear, overall, largely unchanged. The hull diameter does not appear to have increased and the missile deck remains narrow. Taken together, this supports reports that the new submarine has 8 instead of 4 missile tubes. These will be arranged in a single row down the centerline.

The newest boat may also have an improved reactor.

H I Sutton - Covert Shores

They think the S4 has an improved reactor. o_O o_O
I am tired. I can't speculate anymore. The Navy is doing a number on us all.
 

Ankit Kumar

Team StratFront
Nov 30, 2017
4,539
4,297
Bangalore
@Chain Smoker This is what the Covert Shores guys are saying :


View attachment 22316

Indian Navy's Third Ballistic Missile Submarine Doubles Missile Armament​


Wed 29 December 2021

The quiet launch of India's 3rd Arihant Class ballistic missile submarine (SSBN), S-4 (as-yet unnamed), did not go unnoticed. Satellite images confirm that it is much longer than the first two boats of the class.

Analysis of high resolution satellite images seen by me (I got them via OSINT, but I am unsure whether the satellite provider intended them to be public so I am not posting them here) suggests that it is about 20 meters longer overall. The forward hull, sail and stern appear, overall, largely unchanged. The hull diameter does not appear to have increased and the missile deck remains narrow. Taken together, this supports reports that the new submarine has 8 instead of 4 missile tubes. These will be arranged in a single row down the centerline.

The newest boat may also have an improved reactor.

H I Sutton - Covert Shores

They think the S4 has an improved reactor. o_O o_O
I am tired. I can't speculate anymore. The Navy is doing a number on us all.
Once SSN project starts we will get some details. But for the SSBN , maybe a press release but that's all. Don't hope for anything more.
 

RISING SUN

Senior member
Dec 3, 2017
13,846
6,269

India Launches 3rd Arihant Submarine​

Amid worsening ties between India and China, New Delhi is demonstrating seriousness about stepping up its military capabilities, launching its third nuclear missile submarine (SSBN).


The launch was first reported by U.K.-based Jane’s Defence Weekly, based on satellite imagery. Jane’s claimed that India had launched the submarine on November 23.


According to a report by the Hindu, neither the Ministry of Defense nor the Indian Navy confirmed the story but “sources in the navy and Ship Building Centre (SBC) in Visakhapatnam,” where these submarines were built, confirmed the launch of the submarine. A senior naval officer who spoke to the newspaper said that the launch was “nothing more than getting the outer hull floated in water. It was in the dry dock area till now and it is now in the water.”


The submarine still has a long way to go before it is ready for sea trials, then weapon trials and finally commissioning. The first of these SSBNs, the INS Arihant (S2), after which the class is named, was launched in July 2009, with sea trials commencing in December 2014 and commissioning into the Indian Navy taking place in August 2016. The second in the series, S3 or INS Arighat, is in the advanced sea trials phase and is expected to be commissioned soon. The newest submarine is numbered S4 but yet to named.


Making the submarine arm of India’s nuclear triad credible requires at least four SSBNs. In turn, it also requires placing a sufficient number of nuclear missiles, with sufficient range, on these SSBNs.

The Arihant-class submarines are being developed and built indigenously under the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) Project at a cost of 900 billion Indian rupees ($12 billion). Well-known defense analysts indicate that the delivery of the four SSBNs will be delayed considerably considering the “difficulties in miniaturising the nuclear reactor and also in creating adequate space for housing the larger K-4 ballistic missiles, in place of the relatively shorter range K-15 missile that the INS Arihant carries.”


Making the submarine arm of India’s nuclear triad credible requires at least four SSBNs. In turn, it also requires placing a sufficient number of nuclear missiles, with sufficient range, on these SSBNs. The first SSBNs, the Arihant and the Arighat, were deficient in this respect as they only carried the relatively short-range K-15 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), though they can reportedly also accommodate four K-4 longer-range missiles. The K-15 has a range of only 750 kilometers, which is insufficient to target China from the Bay of Bengal.


India is also developing the longer-range K-4 SLBM, with a 3,500-kilometer range, a naval version of the Agni-3 intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM). The K-4 has undergone a number of tests but it has yet to be deployed. Most recently, the missile was tested from submerged pontoons off the Visakhapatnam coast in January 2020. Though the DRDO did not confirm the test, media reports quoting officials claimed that the launch was successful.


According to an Indian media report citing government sources, the S4 SSBN is “bigger in size, tonnage, and capability compared to S2 and S3.” The S4 will be able to carry eight K-4 or 24 K-15 SLBMs. Jane’s report also detailed the size and tonnage of the submarine.


The Bratsk, an Akula-class nuclear-powered attack submarine, christened as Chakra-3, is currently being refitted in a Russian shipyard as per Indian specifications and requirements.

The naval arm of the nuclear triad is significant for India given its no-first use (NFU) nuclear posture. The naval platform is considered ideal for a nuclear second strike because nuclear-powered submarines, which can stay hidden underwater for prolonged periods, are more survivable than any of the other platforms.


Meanwhile, India’s project to build six nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) has been on the backburner. Former Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh made a pitch for it at the Combined Commanders’ Conference in March 2020. The SSNs will cost 960 billion rupees and senior bureaucrats have questioned the need for these boats at a time when the economy is slowing. Nevertheless, the naval chief took the case to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and stressed the need for the 6,000-ton SSNs. According to a media report, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) was ready to approve the project. Nevertheless, even if approved, it is going to be a decade at the least before the first of these submarines will be commissioned.


In the process, India appears to have decided to cancel the proposal for a second indigenous aircraft carrier. It appears unlikely that the project to build a 65,000 tonne IAC-2 indigenous aircraft carrier will be revived anytime soon.


India did operate one SSN, the INS Chakra-2, until recently. This was an Akula-class attack boat, which was on a 10-year lease from Russia, but it went back to Russia 10 months before the expiry of the lease agreement. This was the second nuclear-powered submarine that India leased from Russia. India signed a new agreement in March 2019 to get another SSN on lease from Russia. The Bratsk, an Akula-class nuclear-powered attack submarine, christened as Chakra-3, is currently being refitted in a Russian shipyard as per Indian specifications and requirements. Nevertheless, given the changing security dynamics in the Indian Ocean and beyond, reports suggest that India is exploring the prospects of leasing another SSN from Russia, so that it can have two of the submarines at the same time.


All of these developments are taking place at a time when China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is building up its muscles. The PLAN has expanded the size of its inventory in significant terms with inclusion of new aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, and surface ships, and is also expanding its deployments beyond its immediate waters into the Indian Ocean Region. These developments are clearly putting pressure on the Indian navy.
 

Ankit Kumar

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Nov 30, 2017
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senior bureaucrats have questioned the need for these boats at a time when the economy is slowing.
In our history whenever we were strong and complete, the position of senapati was above others.

Ah how I wish more and more ex-servicemen men are put into these office. So that people who term K9 as a tank do not get to decide if a SSN is important or not.
 

lcafanboy

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Dec 22, 2017
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In our history whenever we were strong and complete, the position of senapati was above others.

Ah how I wish more and more ex-servicemen men are put into these office. So that people who term K9 as a tank do not get to decide if a SSN is important or not.
And I wish kerbing all the Perks these bas-tard bureaucrats are enjoy citing slow economy...
 
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Arctic Wolf

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The SSNs will cost 960 billion rupees and senior bureaucrats have questioned the need for these boats at a time when the economy is slowing.
The economic concerns about debt, consumption etc. are valid; no country can sustain a military buildup without a strong and flourishing economy. However the solution is to address the slowdown, not to dismantle a strategically crucial project at this time.
Ah how I wish more and more ex-servicemen men are put into these office.
India is one of the very few countries in the developing world that has never gone through a military coup. Its for a reason. I may be wrong, but the answer to an inefficient bureaucracy may be to streamline the procurement process instead of appointing ex-servicemen in positions meant for civilians, and doing so, diluting the system of checks and balances allowing the civilian leadership to keep control over the militart at all times.
And I wish kerbing all the Perks these bas-tard bureaucrats are enjoy citing slow economy...
But the bureaucrats don't make all the policies. Decisions regarding socio-economic policies, budgetary allocations, procurement policies etc. are almost always made by the elected political leadership.
 
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Guynextdoor

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Dec 19, 2017
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The reactor same across the 4 subs. The propeller doesn't have to be. That's the point I was making. Still let's wait & see maybe the Covert Shores guys will come up with some more details.

they may need to modify the last reactor to get more power.
 

Parthu

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aditya g

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Dec 2021 sat pics, another angle - via IISS

View attachment 23195

View attachment 23196


@Ashwin @Gautam @randomradio @Amarante @Ankit Kumar

Is that an anti-frogman net strung up between the 2 piers?
 
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