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 . 🤙

        • Sarthal – You complain about ‘flaws’ in the article and then gob off about the QE by peddling some utter crap about some ‘massive crack’, ‘its leaky’ and is ‘back in docks’.

          Pot – Kettle – Non White Colour

          • problem with indians is they never accept their mistake. They were fools and will remain fools. You will always see an Indian fool defending and interestingly living in the West. If India is that good then why do u idiots stay in the West. Come back to your shitty country.

        • Launching a submarine is just the point when you first put it in water. The reactor has never been in our submarines when we launch them. Launching is a couple years before commissioning. All that stuff is in before commissioning.

        • US nuclear subs have a diesel generator capable of running the boat. But it has an exhaust that billows black smoke, and because of the length they have to be within 50 ft of the surface. Not very conducive to a submarine’s purpose, but they aren’t dead in the water.

    • So this article is flawed? When are you going to sue this paper? The sooner you Indians come out of the illusion of superiority the better.

    • 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.

      • Soooo, you’re saying you don’t need the money that our tax payers have been robbed of in order to give it to your country? Ok, fine. Give it back. I’ll take a check.

      • Rishu – India is a country that can’t deliver basic sanitation to its population and where people crap in the streets. A country that is happy for millions to live in hovels in abject poverty. A country where the Caste system makes South African Apartheid look like a friendly disagreement. And all this shit while spending $ Bns on nuclear weapons, submarines and carriers.

        So maybe less lecturing and abuse of a country that does very much better for its people than yours does, that provides a home for many who leave India for a better life and yet is still afar more capable military power than India will ever be

        • Not quite. It’s all about timing. I’m fairly certain the modern state of London compared to its industrial era shithole conditions is proof enough to understand how things can change.

  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.

        • It’s called “Systemology” and neophyte nations like India and China, just getting into major naval units like nuclear subs and carriers, have no idea how to do it. The U.S. is the class of the world in it, and, to a lesser extent, the Brits, who at least have the tradition of it. It takes decades to get it right.

      • There are warning systems that disable a vehicle. Your car has them if its relatively new. Such as, if the cooling fluid is too low it won’t run.

    • On US subs we call it a “straight board”, where all indicators for hull openings are green bars (indicating SHUT) rather than red circles (or O’s) indicating OPEN. We don’t dive without a “STRAIGHT BOARD”. However, there have been instance of faulty indicators, mechanical failure, and/or operator error(s) throughout the world’s submarine forces causing catastrophic events

      • Negative, having been on 3 fast attacks and one boomer US Navy. There most definitely are sensors at all hull penetrations with local indications and remote indications at the BCP ballast control panel, A straight board is necessary to commence a dive. There are also 3 checks locally. Initial closing, second check and then commissioned officer 3rd check.

    • A warning light is no more visible than an open hatch. If you miss an open hatch, who’s to say they notice a warning light? It comes down to training.

      • 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.

        • Sarthak, your culture had the caste system long before any European got to India. It is endemic in Hinduism and started as a way of ensuring that the different trades kept their place. Unfortunately, over the centuries it became distorted and perverted like many other old customs, such as dowries in marriage. And with a ridiculous fundamentalist Hindu government in power it will only get worse.

          • A fundamentalist right wing government that wants to entirely uproot caste system and any semblance of it entirely from this nation you mean. Blame the liberals for the continual existence of caste in any shape. They love to hold on to it for the welfare schemes attached to it.

  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

    • Don’t bark against Pakistan, you ugly Indians. Keep your holes closed so nothing will enter your asses. Now stop barking at Pakistan.

    • “Pakistan is almost a failed rogue state” 🤔
      Must be the “almost” that made IAF crap their pants and flee the recent dog fight 😬

      This comedy is about Indian Naval blunders, keep it to yourself, thank you!

  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.

  7. Utter disappointment to hear a news article like this from an unpretentious country and its elite Navy. There are always lessons to be learnt w.r.t Safety with almost any country in the world. I’m sure a country like India will overcome this issue with ease.
    The disparaging comments of few shouldn’t be taken to heart. The trouble with few nations unlike India is that they are proud and prejudiced to claim they have the best navy, army or air force and ultimately Suffer to maintain their Reputation and end up asking for favours from France or America to run their best navy. France’s help for carrier support and American coast guard to help iron out the manning issues on T23. I won’t even get to the Carrier problems or T45 issues.
    Why is aid given to the Indian government? It is the reparation for crippling a country’s economy, looting their wealth, pushing back their progress by few centuries whilst benefitting the Industrial Revolution in Britain and instilling hatred amongst people (caste system) in order to turn the direction away whilst British were looting India. So, until the country is in Par with the rest of the nations, reparation will continue unless India decides to stop receiving it.
    In all, India has done well to overcome all these issues and has a lot brighter future as its Youngsters are more aware of where to get India to, as its close knit community appreciating its Heritage, History, Culture & Traditions speaks volumes.
    Just like how India helped Britain in both the World wars by sending over 3.5 million soldiers to fight for Britain, not for India’s benefit, but for Britain’s benefit. India will always be a friend of any country or at least lend them a helping hand, as they have learnt a lot from fights between close knit countries such as England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. There is also a divide between North and South within the England. There is always a form of Social Stratification everywhere, especially in UK it exists with Upper and Lower class predominantly felt in the education sector and slowly work its way up to university and then in jobs and end up with MP’s calling commoners PLEBS.
    One thing India does not stand up for is helping the Lazy people by giving them benefits and encourage their laziness, no, no, no. People are encouraged to go out and find jobs for themselves, entrepreneurs are now booming in India and so is its wealth.
    Sailors and the country have learnt an expensive lesson and with a slap on their wrist they have progressed and INS Arihant is sailing the depths with ease and comfort.
    Peace to all !!!

    • Oh dear, after what could have been a well spoken comment quickly degenerated into blame Britain for all your issues! You know eventualy you do have to take responsibility for yourselves and stop blaming UK PLC, oh and you really should know your own history, as the Caste system was already in situ well before the east India Company turned up.

    • Yes, Britain crippled you so much you now have a GNP about to overtake the UK. You were left with the makings of a modern educational system, legal system, military force, science and technology structure, and so on. Indians have spread to the UK, US, Australia, Europe. You came out pretty well under the Raj.

  8. Why do people are so jealous about India?? Our defense budget is only 1.52% of our GDP.. Lower than the time of first India China conflict.. We have to build our defense Force to protect Indian Ocean from imperial china..and for your information UK defense forces are great friends of india

  9. Sarthak Das – how do you launch without a reactor?? This must be a parody comment. Please let it be. Otherwise, it means the really stupid are finally learning to type. Incredible comment.

    • Launching a ship merely refers to putting it in the water for the first time. No ship at the time of launching is completely ready to get underway, and many essential parts have not been completely assembled yet.

  10. even a cheap car has a door open warning indicator. stories I hear about the way in which their surface fleets cable trays get rats eating through the insulation etc. I lived there once I am not surprised.

  11. It appears many comments have been made by armchiar experts who have no idea which is front and stern of submarine except the propellers are at rear end. You cant launch a submarine without large machinery which has to be shipped side ways or from top when the hull is still open . No one can launch ANY ship, leave aside sub marine, which is not complete in its hull and therefore main machinery,power plant, must have been shipped and bolted down. Also launching does not mean sea readiness. Fitting out of equipment, sensors, communications, accommodations etc are fitted out,inspected and tested in harbour before the ship/sub undergoes harbour trials and the sea trials and then work out. Its is long- long cycle and no one can cut short- expedite-yes. Training of submariners is of high order. I am not preivy of the details of accident but am sure that there must be a very major FU for this to happen
    So,please ladies and gentlemen, cool down. Indian Navy is highly professional Navy . Its professionalism is recognised by international community during all international exercises.


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