Visakhapatnam : INS Aridhaman, the second Arihant-class nuclear powered submarine that is being built by the Navy at the Ship Building Centre at Visakhapatnam, is reportedly set for a soft launch next week according to well-placed sources in the defence ministry.
The nuclear submarine was initially scheduled for a grand launch at the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but sources said a change of decision has happened with authorities at the highest level now deciding to launch the vessel in a quiet manner at the hands of defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
The vessel is being built under the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project at the SBC in the port city. While the launch of the 6,000-tonne INS Arihant, the Navy’s first indigenous nuclear submarine, was a high-profile affair with former prime minister Manmohan Singh inaugurating it, the launch of INS Aridhaman is expected to be a closed-door affair, sources said.
INS Arihant was launched by then PM Manmohan Singh in September, 2009. Singh’s wife Gursharan Kaur had formally launched the vessel according to the tradition of the Indian Navy which dictates that a woman should inaugurate a vessel. Exactly eight years after that, a woman defence minister is now expected to launch INS Aridhaman at the Ship Building Centre in Eastern Naval command (ENC), probably on November 19 or 20, sources said.