A hatch left open on the INS Arihant lead to saltwater flooding the propulsion area, rendering the $2.9 billion submarine inoperative.

The incident was first reported by The Hindu. According to an Indian Navy source, a hatch was left open allowing seawater to rush in. The Arihant issue rose soon after INS Chakra, the Nerpa class nuclear submarine leased from Russia, was reported to have suffered damage to its sonar domes while entering the Visakhapatnam harbour in early October.

INS Arihant is to be the first of the expected five in the class of submarines designed and constructed as a part of the Indian Navy’s secretive Advanced Technology Vessel project. The Arihant class submarines are reported to be based on the Akula class submarine.

India has an ambitious plan to build a SSBN fleet, comprising five Arihant class vessels.

INS Arihant was introduced to the public in 2009 at a symbolic launch ceremony. The launch coincided with the 10th anniversary of the conclusion of the Kargil War and consisted of floating the vessel by flooding the dry dock. Defence Professionals Daily claimed Arihant was launched without key systems including its nuclear reactor, surveillance equipment, and ordnance.

Prime Minister Singh billed the submarine as an outcome of a public-private partnership. He also thanked Russia in his address, stating, “I would also like to express our appreciation to our Russian friends for their consistent and invaluable cooperation, which symbolises the close strategic partnership that we enjoy with Russia.”



    • If so they will need imeasurably better training. Not something they seem especially skilled at. Having the equipment is one thing running it on the cheap however makes it style over substance so I doubt that anyone will be especially scared of this paper super power any time soon.

      • Actually the thing is this article is flawed. How in god’s name do you launch a nuclear submarine without it’s nuclear reactor. And, if you wanna talk about style over substance you must be aware of the fact that the Royal Navy’s finest ship the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers examples of fine british engineering is back in the docks for repairs as it has a massive crack and it’s leaky. Also, don’t forget the destroyers with faulty engines . 🤙

    • Lmao the so called aid you provide to us we spend more than that to on our fertilizers. It’s flipping peanuts when compared to the money we spend on our military. So much for your aid

      • Well, there is gratitude for you. How about spending some of your own money on your own people’s needs? Indian professionals I met in the U.K. late last year are more critical of their own government for neglecting pressing needs in Indian society. Welcome news then today (15.01.2017) that the new U.K. International Development Secretary is intent on re-balancing U.K. aid towards countries that can demonstrate a genuine concern for their own people.

  1. Never having been in the navy or onboard a submarine, i’d Love to know how something like this could have happened….

    Do the British subs have sensors on the external hatches, which alert the appropriate control station or do they just rely on a second person cross checking the hatches?

    • Simple rushed training. A contractor can put as many warning lights as you possibly want. Doesn’t mean Seamen Carl will remember to look at them. Whenever a institution whatever it’s job takes shortcuts you WILL have accidents. Launching this ship early shows how much they were rushing for appearances. Same people who are willing to take that many risks building a multi-billion dollar equipment are the same ones who will improperly screen or inadequately train recruits. Hopefully they learn their lesson before the headline is “Submarine lost with all hands.”

      What happened here was likely they thought the warning lights were sufficient. You always manually and visually inspect before diving in a non-emergency situation.

      • Bit of difference between having a car crash and having one while driving off with the doors wide open. The Astute accident was embarrassing but from what I remember it was at least partly due to charts not having been updated. Making accurate charts is a little more complex than leaving a hatch open or in the case of the US navy ramming your warship into a merchant vessel.

    • Considering barely 6 months go by without a building collapsing through design neglect I guess this sort of neglect is rather innate in a third world nation that is perhaps trying a little to anxiously to look like the worlds next economic super power with all that entails and in their speed putting health and safety to one side while coruption stays centre stage.

    • Spot on Mac, millions of Indians live in grinding poverty.
      Its horrendous and due to their cast system, most people in the Indian hierarchy really don’t give a shit!

      Nuclear Submarines are the most complex, top of the tree , weapon systems there is, bar none.

      Its deeply concerning if India dosen’t recognise this. There is a good reason why a British SSN captain is still one of the most feared adversaries in the sea. The mix of exceptional training and very good kit ( admittedly in dangerously low numbers) makes our SSN’s a massive force multiplier.
      They represent a capability that’s way more important to the UK than the sum of its parts.

      • Let’s not forget Mr.Clark as much as we are to be blamed for our caste system the British are to be equally blamed for it. Let’s not forget the British empire played the ‘divide and rule’ card. Let’s not forget the Astute Class submarines prime example of british shipbuilding industry has been as stated by the National Auditing Office of your country stated how the wrong ‘soft metal’ resulted in the failure of the cooling pipe’s cap.

        • Mr Das. I am as old as India and I feel it. How much longer can this ‘It was all the fault of the British’ nonsense continue? The British found divide and rule when they arrived. They changed little which was wise since these were a people who disliked reform. It still is the case that the educated organise things to their liking; this long after the British left. Seventy years is plenty of time to make different arrangements if there was a desire to do so. Afterall, you were gifted the tools.

  2. From the Indian Times:
    “Nuclear submarine was damaged after water entered its propulsion chamber Indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant has suffered major damage due to ”human error” and has not sailed now for more than 10 months, say sources in the Navy. Arihant is the most important platform within India’s nuclear triad covering land-air-sea modes. Arihant’s propulsion compartment was damaged after water entered it, according to details available with The Hindu. A naval source said water rushed in as a hatch on the rear side was left open by mistake while it was at harbour.”

  3. Has anyone considered the possibility of sabotage? Has the “sailor” who left the hatch open been identified? All modern submarines have warning systems to prevent submerging when the hull is compromised.

  4. That’s an amazing thread of comments – ranging from poverty to third world capability, the Russians etc etc.
    Firstly, this is a media report and in the case of SSBNs it is unlikely that the media would have access to the actual facts and so 2+2 makes 22.
    I am glad somebody commented on the Astute programme – imagine a nuclear submarine going to see with outdated charts or for that matter a nuclear submarine colliding with another one at sea and of course the numerous other incidents that have occured at various times and this is a navy which ruled the waves. I dont think anybody has ever commented on the professional capability of the RN.
    Insofar as the guns and butter equation is concerned, the need for strategic deterrence has been driven by two adversarial nuclear armed neighbours with an unholy nuclear nexus between them on either side of us and constantly sniping at us . Pakistan is almost a failed rogue state and China’s conduct has been anything but worthy of the great power status it aspires to – India cannot let its guard down. Despite these provocations, the Indian defence budget is kept at less than 2% of the GDP and if we can still effectively defend ourselves, its to our credit.
    May I therefore suggest that comments should be based on a deep knowledge of fact

  5. It’s really not a humiliation. Having just finished serving on a US submarine it’s easy to see how something like this can happen. These machines are incredibly complicated and when the crew is tired mistakes can be made, deadly ones. The system needs to be simple and two party; that’s how the US has stopped things like this from happening on their own subs. Two party independent checks of vital ship safety equipment before leaving port. We go through each system on a procedural list and verify each valve, switch and hatch twice. The process take about two days for 130 people to complete, which is a testament to how many vital systems there are.

  6. There are many ships of UK caught in fire , other technical glitches happened and you guys are too much concerned about india.


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